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From  the 

Fine  Arts  Library 

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Harvard  University 


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THE 

HISTORY  OF  MODERN  PAINTING 


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The  History 


Modern  Painting 


BY 


RICHARD     MUTHER 

PROFESSOR     OF    ART     HISTORY     AT    THE     UNIVERSITY    OF    BRESLAU 
LATE  KEEPER    OF  THE   PRINTS  AT  THE    MUNICH    PINAKOTHEK 


IN     THREE     VOLUMES 

VOLUME   TIIKKE 


NEW    YORK 
MACMILLAN   AND    CO 


MDCCUXCVi 


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FA  3ZS7.  2.1 


HARVARD 

UNIVERSITY 

LIBRARY 


The  translation  of  this  volume 

was  entrusted  to 

Mr.  Arthur  Cecil  Hillier; 

and  the  printing  to 

Messrs,  Hazelly  Watson y  &*  Viney^  Ld. 

of  London  and  Aylesbury. 


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CONTENTS 


PAGE 

INTRODUCTION i 


BOOK   IV 
THE  PAINTERS  OF  LIFE 

CHAPTER  XXXIV 
FRANCE 

Bastien-Lepage,  Lliermitte,  Roll,  Raffaelli,  De  Nittis,  Ferdinand  Heilbuth, 
Albert  Aublet,  Jean  B^iraud,  Ulysse  Butin,  £douard  Dantan,  Henri 
Gervex,  Duez,  Friant,  Goeneutte,  Dagnan-Bouveret. — The  Landscape- 
Painters :  Seurat,  Signac,  Anquetin,  Angrand,  Luden  Pissarro,  Pointelin, 
Jan  Monchablon,  Montenard,  Dauphin,  Rosset-Granget,  £mile  Barau, 
Damoye,  Boudin,  Dumoulin,  Lebourg,  Victor  Binet,  R6n6  Billotte. — The 
Portrait-Painters:  Fantin-Latour,  Jacques  £mile  Blanche,  Boldini.— 
The  Draughtsmen :  Ch€ret,  Willette,  Forain,  Paul  Renouard,  Daniel 
Vierge •        .        .        .         ii 

CHAPTER  XXXV 
SPAIN 

From  Goya  to  Fortuny. — Mariano  Fortuny. — Official  efiforts  for  the  cultivation 
of  historical  painting. — Influence  of  Manet  inconsiderable. — Even  in 
their  pictures  from  modem  life  the  Spaniards  remain  followers  of 
Fortuny:  Francisco  Pradilla,  Casado,  Vera,  Manuel  Ramirez,  Moreno 
Carbonero,  Ricardo  Villodas,  Antonio  Casanova  y  Estorach,  Benliure  y 
Gil,  Checa,  Francisco  Amerigo,  Viniegra  y  Lasso,  Mas  y  Fondevilla, 
Alcazar  Tejedor,  Jos6  Villegas,  Luis  Jimenez,  Martin  Rico,  Zamacois, 
Raimundo  de  Madrazo,  Francisco  Domingo,  Emilio   Sala  y  Frances, 

Antonio  Fabr6s 68 

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vi  CONTENTS 

CHAPTER  XXXVI 
ITALY 

PAGE 

Fortuny's  influence  on  the  Italians,  especially  on  the  school  of  Naples. — 
Domenico  Morelli  and  his  followers  :  F.  P.  Michetti,  Edoardo  Dalbono, 
Alceste  Campriani,  Giacomo  di  Chirico,  Rubens  Santoro,  Edoardo 
ToflFano,  Giuseppe  de  Nigris. — Prominence  of  the  costume-picture. — 
Venice :  Favretto,  Lonza. — Florence:  Andreotti,  Conti,  Gelli,  Vinea. — The 
peculiar  position  of  Segantini. — Otherwise  anecdotic  painting  still 
preponderates.— Chierici,  Rotta,  Vannuttelli,  Monteverde,  Tito.— -Reasons 
why  the  further  development  of  modem  art  was  generally  completed 
not  so  much  on  Latin  as  on  Germanic  soil 90 

CHAPTER  XXXVII 
ENGLAND 

General  characteristic  of  English  painting. — The  offshoots  of  Qassicism: 
Lord  Leighton,  Val  Prinsep,  Poynter,  Alma  Tadema. — Japanese  ten- 
dencies :  Albert  Moore. — ^The  animal  picture  with  antique  surroundings : 
Briton-Riviere. — The  old^^nr^  painting  remodelled  in  a  naturalistic  sense 
by  George  Mason  and  Frederick  Walker. — George  H.  Boughton,  Philip 
H.  Calderon,  Marcus  Stone,  G.  D.  Leslie,  P.  G.  Morris,  J.  R.  Reid,  Frank 
HolL — The  portrait-painters:  Ouless,  J.  J.  Shannon,  James  Sant, 
Charles  W.  Furse,  Hubert  Herkomer. — Landscape-painters.— Zigzag 
development  of  English  landscape-painting. — The  school  of  Fontaine- 
bleau  and  French  Impressionism  rose  on  the  shoulders  of  Constable 
and  Turner,  whereas  England,  under  the  guidance  of  the  Preraphaelites, 
deviated  in  the  opposite  direction  until  prompted  by  France  to  return 
to  the  old  path. — Cecil  Lawson,  James  Clarke  Hook,  Vicat  Cole,  Colin 
Hunter,  John  Brett,  Inchbold.  Leader,  Corbett,  Ernest  Parton,  Mark 
Fisher,  John  White,  Alfred  East,  J.  Aumonier. — The  sea-painters  :  Henry 
Moore,  W.  L.  Wyllie. — The  importance  of  Venice  for  English  painting : 
Clara  Montalba,  Luke  Fildes,  W.  Logsdail,  Henry  Woods. — French 
influences:  Dudley  Hardy,  Stott  of  Oldham,  Stanhope  Forbes    .        .110 

CHAPTER  XXXVIII 
BELGIUM 

As  David  swayed  over  Belgian  painting  from  1800  to  1830,  and  Delaroche 
from  1830  to  1850,  Courbet  swayed  over  it  from  1850  to  1870.— Charles 
de  Groux,  Henri  de  Braekeleer,  Constantin  Meunier,  Charles  Verlat, 
Louis  Dubois,  Jan  Stobbaerts,  Leopold  Speekaert,  Alfred  Stevens,  De 
Jongh6,  Baugniet,  the  brothers  Verhas,  Charles  Hermans. — The  land- 
scape-painters first  go  upon  the  lines  of  the  Fontainebleau  artists  and 


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the  Impressionists. — Sketch  of  the  history  of  Belgian  landscape-painting. 
— ^Van  Assche,  Verstappeni  Marneffe,  Lauters,  Jacob-Jacobs,  Kindermans, 
Fourmois,  Schampheleer,  Roelofs,  Lamorini^re,  De  Knyff. — Hippolyte 
Boulenger  and  the  Soci^t6  Libre  des  Beaux- Arts. — Theodore  Baron, 
Jacques  Rosseels,  Joseph  Heymans,  Coosemans,  Asselbergs,  Verstraete, 
Frans  Courtens.— The  painters  of  animals:  Verboeckhoven,  Alfred 
Verwee,  Parmentier,  De  Greef,  Leemputten,  L6on  Massaux,  Marie 
Collaert — The  painters  of  the  sea :  Clays,  A.  Bouvier,  Leemans,  A. 
Baertsoen,  Louis  Artan. — ^The  portrait-painters :  £mile  Wauters,  Li6vin 
de  Winne,  Agneesens,  Lambrichs. — General  characteristic  of  Belgian 
painting 201 

CHAPTER  XXXIX 
HOLLAND 

The  difference  between  Dutch  and  Belgian  painting. — The  previous  history 
of  artistic  efforts  in  Holland. — Koekkoek,  Van  Schendel,  David  Bles, 
Hermann  ten  Kate,  Pienemann,  Charles  Rochussen,  Weissenbruch, 
Bosboom,  Schelfhout,  Taurel,  Waldorp,  Kuytenbrouwer. — Figure- 
painters  :  Josef  Israels,  Christoffel  Bisschop,  Gerk  Henkes,  Albert 
Neuhuys,  Adolf  Artz,  Pieter  Oyens. — The  landscape-painters :  Jongkind, 
Jacob  and  Willem  Maris,  Anton  Mauve,  H.  W.  Mesdag.— Realism  and 
Sensitivism:  Klinkenberg,  Gabriel. — ^The  younger  generation. — Neo- 
Impressionism :  Isaac  Israels  and  Breitner. — Matthew  Maris  and 
Mysticism. — W.  Bauer  and  Jan  Toorop.— Thorn  Prikker.—"  Expression- 
ism : "  Jan  Veth  and  Haverman,  Karpen  and  Tholen  .        .228 

CHAPTER  XL 
DENMARK 

The  kinship  between  Danish  and  Dutch  painting. — Previous  history  of 
artistic  efforts  in  Denmark.— Christoph  Vilhelm  Eckersberg  and  his 
importance.— The  Eckersberg  school :  Rorbye,  Bendz,  Sonne,  Christen 
Kobke,  Roed,  Kilchler,  Vilhelm  Marstrand.— Italy  and  the  East :  J.  A. 
Krafft,  Constantin  Hansen,  Ernst  Meyer,  Petzholdt,  Niels  Simonsen. — 
The  national  movement  of  the  forties  brings  painting  back  to  native 
soil :  influence  of  Hoyen,  Julius  Exner,  Frederik  Vermehren,  Christen 
Dalsgaard. — Their  intimacy  of  feeling  in  opposition  to  the  traditional 
genre  painting. — The  landscape-painters:  Johan  Thomas  Lundbye, 
Carlo  Dalgas,  Peter  Christian  Skovgaard,  Vilhelm  Kyhn,  Gotfred 
Rump.— 'The  marine-painters:  Emanuel  Larsen,  Frederik  Sdrensen, 
Anton  Melbye. — Their  importance  and  technical  defects. — Carl  Bloch 


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sets  in  the  place  of  this  awkward  painting  which  had  national  inde- 
pendence one  which  was  outwardly  brilliant  but  less  characteristic. 
— Gertner,  Elisabeth  Jerichau-Baumann,  Otto  Bache,  Vilhelm  Rosen- 
stand,  Axel  Helsted,  Christian  Zahrtmann. — After  the  Paris  Exhibition 
of  1878  there  came  into  being  the  young  school  equipped  with  rich 
technical  means  of  expression  and,  at  the  same  time,  taking  up  the 
Eckersberg  tradition  of  intimate  and  delicate  observation:  Peter  S. 
Kroyer,  Laurits  Regner  Tuxen,  August  Jerndorfii  Viggo  Johansen,  Carl 
Thomsen,  H.  N.  Hansen,  Otto  Haslund,  Irminger,  Engelsted,  Lauritz 
Ring,  Erik  Henningsen,  Fritz  Syberg. — Painters  of  the  sea  and  fishing : 
Michael  and  Anna  Ancher,  Locher,  Thorolf  Pedersen. — The  landscape- 
painters:  Viggo  Pedersen,  Philipsen,  Thorwald  Niss,  Zacho,  Gotfred 
Christensen,  Julius  Paulsen. — The  "free  exhibitors:"  Joachim  and 
Niels  Skovgaard,  Theodor  BindesboU,  Agnes  Slott-MoUer,  Harald  Slott- 
Moller,  J.  F.  Willumsen,  V.  Hammershoy,  Johan  Rohde,  G.  Seligmann, 
Karl  Jensen 266 

CHAPTER  XLI 

SWEDEN 

Previous  history  of  Swedish  art.— The  Classicists :  Per  KraflFt,  Frederik 
Westin,  Elias  Martin. — Extension  of  the  range  of  subject  through 
Romanticism  :  Plageman,  Blomm6r,  Fahlcrantz,  Wilhelm  Palm,  Egron 
Lundgren. — Beginnings  of  a  national  painting  of  the  life  of  the  people : 
Soedermark,  Sandberg,  Dahlstrom,  Per  Wickenberg,  Karl  Wahlbom, 
August  Lindholm,  Amalia  Lindegren,  Nils  Andersson. — The  Dasseldor- 
fiau  period :  Karl  D'Uucker,  Bengt  Nordenberg,  Wilhelm  Wallander, 
Anders  KoskuU,  August  Jernberg,  Ferdinand  Fagerlin.— After  the  Paris 
World  Exhibition  of  1867,  instead  of  going  to  Dusseldorf,  the  Swedes 
repair  to  Paris  and  Munich. — Period  of  costume-painting  and  colouring 
after  the  old  masters:  Johan  KristoflFer  Boklund,  Johan  Frederik 
Hoeckert,  Marten  Eskil  Winge,  August  Malmstrom,  Georg  von  Rosen, 
Julius  Kronberg,  Carl  Gustav  Hellquist,  Gustav  Cederstrom,  Nils 
Forsberg. — ^The  landscape-painters :  Marcus  Larsson,  Alfred  Wahlberg, 
G.  Rydberg,  Edvard  Bergh.— After  the  Paris  Worid  Exhibition  of  1878 
the  last  transition,  which  led  the  young  Swedish  artists  to  follow  the 
lines  of  Impressionism,  took  place. — The  Parisian  Swedes:  Hugo 
Salmson,  August  Hagborg,  Vilhelm  von  Gegerfelt,  Karl  SkSnberg, 
Hugo  Birger. — Those  who  returned  home  became  the  founders  of  a  new 
national  Swedish  art. — Character  of  this  art  compared  with  the  Danish. — 
The  landscape-painters :  Per  Eckstrom,  Nils  Kreuger,  Karl  Nordstrom, 
Prince  Eugene,  Robert  Thegerstrom,  Olof  Arborelius,  Axel  Lindmann, 
Alfred  Thome,  John  Kindborg,  Johan  Krouth6n,  Adolf  Nordling,  Johan 


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Ericson,  Edvard  Rosenberg,  Erast  Lundstrdm. — The  painters  of  animals : 
Wennerberg,  Brandelius,  Georg  Arsenius,  Bruno  Liljefors. — The  figure- 
painters:  Axel  Kulle,  Alf  Wallander,  Axel  Borg,  Johan  Tir^n,  Allan 
Oesterlind,  Oscar  Bjorck,  Carl  Larsson,  Ernst  Josephson,  Georg  Pauli, 
Richard  Bergh,  Anders  Zorn         / 337 

CHAPTER  XLII 
NORWAY 

Previous  history  of  Norwegian  art :  J.  C.  Dahl  and  his  importance ;  Fearnley, 
Frich.— The  Dusscldorf  period :  Adolf  Tidemand,  Hans  Gude,  Vincent 
Stoltenbei^-Lerche,  Hans  Dahl,  Carl  Hansen,  Niels  Bj6rnson-M611er, 
August  Cappelen,  Morten-M Oiler,  Ludwig  Munthe,  E.  A.  Normann, 
Knud  Bergslien,  Nicolai  Arbo. — From  the  middle  of  the  seventies  Munich 
becomes  the  high-school  of  Norwegian  art,  and  from  1880  Paris. — 
Norwegians  who  remained  in  Germany  and  Paris:  M.  Grdnvold,  J. 
Ekendes,  Carl  Frithjof-Smith,  Grimelund. — Those  who  return  home 
become  the  founders  of  a  national  Norwegian  art :  Otto  Sinding,  Niels 
Gustav  Wenzel,  Jdrgensen,  Kolstoe,  Christian  Krohg,  Christian 
Skredsvig,  Eilif  Peterssen. — The  landscape-painters :  Johan  Theodor 
Eckersbeig,  Amandus  Nilson,  Fritz  Thaulow,  Gerhard  Munthe,  Dissen, 
Skramstadt,  Gunnar  Berg,  Edvard  Dircks,  Eylof  Soot,  Carl  Uckermann, 
Harriet  Backer,  Kitty  Kielland,  Hansteen.—Illustratioa :  Erik 
Werenskiold.— Finnish  art :   Edelfelt 384 

CHAPTER  XLIII 

RUSSIA 
(In  collaboration  with  Alexander  Benois,  St.  Petersburg) 

The  b^nnings  of  Russian  painting  in  the  eighteenth  century:  ^evitzky, 
Rokotov,  Borovikovsky. — The  period  of  Classicism :  Egorov,  Ugrttmov, 
Andreas  Ivanov,  Theodor  Tolstoi,  Orest  Kiprensky. — The  first  painters 
of  soldiers  and  peasants:  Orlovsky,  Venezianov. — The  historical 
painters:  BrOlov,  Bassin,  Schamschin,  Kapkov,  Flavitzky,  Moller, 
Hendrik  Siemiradzky,  Bruni,  NeflF. — Realistic  reaction:  Alexander 
Ivanov,  Sarjanko. — The  genre  painters :  Sternberg,  Stschedrovsky, 
Tschemyschev,  Morosov,  Ivan  Sokolov,  Trutovsky,  Timm,  Popov, 
Shuravlev,  Fedotov. — ^The  painters  with  a  complaint  against  society: 
Perov,  Pukircv,  Korsuchin,  Prjanischnikov,  Savitzky,  Lemoch, 
Verestchagin. — ^The  landscape-painters :  Stschedrin,  Lebedev,  Vorobiev, 
Rabus,  Lagorio,  Horavsky,  Bogoliubov,  Mestschersky,  Aivasovsky, 
TschemezofT,  Galaktionov,  Schischkin,  Baron  Klodt,  Orlovsky,  Fedders. 
Volkov,  VassiHev,  Levitan,  Kuindshi,  Savrassov,  Sudkovsky,  Vassnetzov, 


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Albert  Benois,  Svjetoslavsky. — ^The  naturalistic  figure-picture: 
Svertschkov,  Peter  Sokolov.— The  Wanderers:  Ivan  Kramskoi, 
Constantin  and  Vladimir  Makovsky,  Tschistjakov,  Schwarz,  Gay, 
Surikov,  Elias  R6pin 407 

CHAPTER  XLIV 
AMERICA 

The  previous  history  of  American  art. — The  first  Americans  who  worked 
in  England:  Benjamin  West,  John  Singleton  Copley,  Gilbert  Stuart 
Newton,  Charles  Robert  Leslie. — ^The  first  portrait-painters  in  America 
itself:  Gilbert  Stuart,  Charles  Wilson  Peale,  Joseph  Wright,  Loring 
Charles  Elliot. — The  grand  painting:  John  Trumbull,  Washington 
Allston,  Emanuel  Leutze. — Genre  painting  :  William  Sydney  Mount — 
The  landscape-painters:  Thomas  Cole,  Albert  Bierstadt,  John  B. 
Bristol,  Frederick  E.  Church,  J.  F.  Kensett,  Sanford  R.  GiflFord,  James 
Fairman,  the  Morgans,  William  Morris  Hunt. — The  Americans  in  Paris  : 
Henry  Mosler,  Carl  Gutherz,  Frederick  A.  Bridgman,  Edwin  Weeks, 
Harry  Humphrey  Moore,  Julius  L.  Stewart,  Charles  Sprague  Pearce, 
William  T.  Dannat,  Alexander  Harrison,  Walter  Gay,  Eugene  Vail, 
Walter  MacEwen. — The  Americans  in  Holland :  Gari  Melchers,  George 
Hitchcock. — The  Americans  in  London:  John  Singer  Sargent,  Henry 
Muhrmann. — The  Americans  in  Munich  :  Carl  Marr,  Charles  Frederick 
Ulrich,  Robert  Koehler,  Sion  Weuban,  Orrin  Peck,  Hermann  Hartwich. 
— The  Americans  at  home. — The  painters  of  Negro  and  Indian  life : 
Winslow  Homer,  Alfred  Kappes,  G.  Brush. — The  founding  of  the 
Society  of  American  Artists:  Walter  Shirlaw,  George  Fuller,  George 
Inness,  Wyatt  Eaton,  Dwight  William  Tryon,  J.  Appleton  Brown,  the 
Morans,  L.  C.  Tififany,  John  Francis  Murphy,  Childe  Hassam,  Julian 
Alden  Weir,  H.  W.  Ranger,  H.  S.  Bisbing,  Charles  H.  Davis,  George 
Inness,  jfinior,  J.  G.  Brown,  J.  M.  C.  Hamilton,  Ridgway  Knight,  Robert 
William  Vonnoh,  Charles  Edmund  Tarbell. — The  influence  of  Whistler : 
Kenyon  Cox,  W.  Thomas  Dewing,  Julius  Rolshoven,  William  Merrit 
Chase 454 

CHAPTER  XLV 

GERMANY 

Retrospect  of  the  development  of  German  painting  since  Menzel  and  Leibl. — 
The  landscapists  had  been  the  first  to  make  the  influence  of  Fontainebleau 
operative  :  Adolf  Lier,  Adolf  Staebli,  Otto  Frohlicher,  Josef  Wenglein, 
Louis  Neubert,  Carl  HeflFner. — The  Munich  Exhibition  of  1879  brings 
about  an  acquaintance  with  Manet  and  Bastien-Lepage :  Max  Lieber- 
mann. — The  other  representatives  of  the  new  art  in  Berlin:  Franz 


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Skarbioa,  Friedrich  Stahl,  Hans  Herrmann,  Hugo  Vogel,  Walter 
Leistikow,  Reinhold  Lepsius,  Curt  Herrmann,  Lesser  Ury,  Ludwig 
Dettmann. — ^Vienna. — Dttsseldorf:  Arthur  Kampf,  Kampffer,  Oiaf 
Jcmbcrg. — Stuttgart:  Otto Reiniger,  Robert  Haug.— Hamburg :  Thomas 
Herbst. — Carlsruhe :  Gustav  SchSnleber,  Herrmann  Baisch,  Friedrich 
Kallmorgen,  Robert  Poetzelberger.— Weimar :  Theodor  Hagen,  Baron 
Gieichen-Russwurm,  L.  Berkemeier,  R.  Thierbach,  P.  Baum.— Munich  : 
Bruno  Piglhein,  Albert  Keller,  Baron  von  Habermann,  Count  Leopold 
Kalckreuth,  Gotthard  Kuehl,  Paul  Hocker,  H.  ZOgel,  Victor  Weishaupt, 
L.  Dill,  L.  Herterich,  Waclaw  Scymanowski,  Hans  Olde,  A.  Lang- 
hammer,^Leo  Samberger,  W.  Firle,  H.  von  Bartels,  W.  Keller-Reutlingen, 
and  others. — The  illustrators :  Ren6  Reinicke,  H.  Schlittgen,  Hengeler, 
Wahle 494 


BOOK    V 
THE  NEW  IDEALISTS 

CHAPTER  XLVI 
THE  NATURE  OF  THE  NEW  IDEALISM 

After  Naturalism  had  taught  artists  to  work  upon  the  impressions  of  external 
reality  in  an  independent  manner,  a  transition  was  made  by  some  who 
embodied  the  impressions  of  their  inward  spirit  in  a  free  creative 
fashion,  unborrowed  from  the  old  masters 541 

CHAPTER  XLVn 

ENGLAND 

From  William  Blake  through  David  Scott  to  Rossetti. — Rossetti  and  the  New 
Preraphaelites :  Edward  Burne-Jones,  R.  Spencer  Stanhope,  William 
Morris,  J.  M.  Strudwick,  Henry  Holliday,  Marie  Spartali-Stillman. — W. 
B.  Richmond.  Walter  Crane,  G.  F.  Watts 561 

CHAPTER  XLVin 

WHISTLER  AND   THE  SCOTCH  PAINTERS 

Whistler  as  the  creator  of  a  New  Idealism  of  colour.— Adolphe  Monticelli. 
— The  influence  of  both  upon  the  Glasgow  school. — History  of  Scotch 
painting  from  1729:  Allan  Ramsay,  David  Allan,  Alexander  and  John 
Runciman,  William  Allan,  Henry  Raebum,  David  Wilkie,  John  and 
Thomas  Faed,  Erskine  Nicol,  George  Harvey,  Alexander  and  Patrick 


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xii  CONTENTS 

PAGE 

Nasmyth,  E.  Crawford,  Horatio  Maccullocb,  John  Phillip,  Robert  Scott 
Lauder,  John  Pettie,  W.  Orchardson,  William  Fettes  Douglas,  Robert 
Macgregor,  Peter  and  Thomas  Graham,  Hugh  Cameron,  Denovan 
Adam,  Robert  Macbeth,  John  MacWhirter,  George  Reid,  George  Paul 
Chalmers,  Hamilton  Macallum. — Glasgow  brings  to  perfection  what 
was  begun  in  Edinburgh :  Arthur  Melville,  John  Lavery,  James  Guthrie, 
Geoige  Henry,  Edward  Hornell,  Alexander  Roche,  James  Paterson, 
Grosvenor  Thomas,  William  Kennedy,  Edward  A.  Walton,  David  Gauld, 
T.  Austen  Brown,  Joseph  Crawhall,  Macaulay  Stevenson,  P.  Macgregor 
Wilson,  Coventry,  Morton,  Alexander  Frew,  Harry  Spence,  Harrington 
Mann 645 


CHAPTER  XLIX 

FRANCE 

Gustave  Moreau,  Puvis  de  Chavannes,.  Cazin,  Madame  Cazin,  Eugdne 
Carri^re,  P.  A.  Besnard,  Agache,  Aman-Jean,  M.  Denis,  Gandara,  Henri 
Martin,  Louis  Picard,  Ary  Renan,  Odilon  Redon,  Carlos  Schwabe. — The 
parallel  movement  in  Belgium :  F6licien  Rops,  Femand  Khnopff  .        .  700 

CHAPTER  L 

GERMANY 

Arnold  Boecklin,  Franz  Dreber,  Hans  von  Mar6es,  Hans  Thoma. — The 
resuscitation  of  biblical  painting. — Review  of  previous  efforts  from  the 
Nazarenes  to  Munkacsy,  E.  von  Gebhardt,  Menzel,  and  Liebermann. — 
Fritz  von  Uhde. — Other  attempts :  W.  DQrr,  W.  Volz. — L.  von  Hofmann, 
Julius  Exter,  Franz  Stuck,  Max  Klinger 741 

Bibliography 803 

Index  of  Artists 831 

List  of  Illustrations 853 


ERRATUM. 
Pages  228  and  23a    For  Rochupen  read  Rochussen. 


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INTRODUCTION 

"  "P)  EALISM "  having  led  painting  from  the  past  to  the 
XV  present,  and  "Impressionism"  having  broken  the  juris- 
diction of  the  galleries  by  establishing  an  independent  conception 
of  colour  for  a  new  class  of  subjects,  the  flood  of  modern  life, 
which  had  been  artificially  dammed,  began  to  pour  into  art  in 
all  its  volume.  A  whole  series  of  new  problems  emerged,  and  a 
vigorous  band  of  modern  spirits  were  ready  to  lay  hold  upon 
them  and  give  them  artistic  shape,  each  according  to  his  nature, 
his  ability,  and  his  individual  knowledge  and  power.  After 
nineteenth-century  painting  had  found  its  proper  field  of  activity, 
they  were  no  longer  under  the  necessity  of  seeking  remote 
subjects.  The  fresh  conquest  of  a  personal  impression  of  nature 
took  the  place  of  that  retrospective  taste  which  employed  the 
ready-made  language  of  form  and  colour  belonging  to  the  old 
masters,  as  a  vocabulary  for  the  preparation  of  fresh  works  of 
art  Nature  herself  had  become  a  gallery  of  splendid  pictures. 
Artists  were  dazzled  as  if  by  a  new  light,  overcome  as  though 
by  a  revelation  of  tones  and  strains,  from  which  the  painter 
was  to  compose  his  symphonies.  They  learnt  how  to  find  what 
was  pictorial  and  poetic  in  the  narrowest  family  circle  and 
amongst  the  beds  of  the  simplest  vegetable  garden ;  and  for 
the  first  time  they  felt  mere  wonder  in  the  presence  of  reality, 
the  joy  of  gradual  discovery  and  of  a  leisurely  conquest  of 
the  world. 

Of  course  plein^air  painting  was,  at  first,  the  chief  object 
of  their  endeavours.  Having  painted  so  long  only  in  brown 
tones,  the   radiant   magic   world   of  free  and   flowing   light   was 

VOL.    III.  I 


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2  INTRODUCTION 

something  so  ravishingly  novel,  that  for  several  years  all  their 
efforts  were  exclusively  directed  to  possessing  themselves  once 
more  of  the  sun,  and  substituting  the  clear  daylight  for  the 
clare-obscure  which  had  reigned  alone,  void  of  atmosphere. 
In  this  sunny  brightness,  flooded  with  light  and  air,  they  found 
a  crowd  of  problems,  and  turned  to  the  perpetual  discovery  of 
new  chords  of  colour.  Sunbeams  sparkling  as  they  rippled 
through  the  leaves,  and  greyish-green  meadows  flecked  with 
dust  and  basking  under  light,  were  the  first  and  most  simple 
themes. 

The  complete  programme,  however,  did  not  consist  of 
painting  in  bright  hues,  but,  generally  speaking,  in  seizing  truth 
of  colour  and  altogether  renouncing  artificial  harmony  in  a 
received  tone.  Thus,  after  the  painting  of  daylight  and  sun- 
light was  learnt,  a  further  claim  had  still  to  be  asserted :  the 
ideal  of  truth  in  painting  had  to  be  made  the  keynote  in  every 
other  task.  For  in  the  sun  light  is  no  doubt  white,  but  in  the 
recesses  of  the  forest,  in  the  moonshine,  or  in  a  dim  place,  it 
shines  and  is  at  the  same  time  charged  with  colour.  Night,  or 
mist,  with  its  hovering  and  pervasive  secrets,  is  quite  as  rich  in 
beauties  as  the  radiant  world  of  glistening  sunshine.  After 
seeing  the  summer  sun  on  wood  and  water,  it  was  a  relief  for 
the  eye  to  behold  the  subdued,  soft,  and  quiet  light  of  a  room. 
Upon  the  older  and  rougher  painting  of  free  light  there  followed 
a  preference  for  dusk,  which  has  a  softness  more  picturesque,  a 
more  tender  harmony  of  colours,  and  more  geniality  than  the 
broad  light  of  day.  Artists  studied  clare-obscure,  and  sought 
for  an  enhancement  of  colour  in  it ;  they  looked  into  the  veil  of 
night,  and  addressed  themselves  to  a  painting  of  darkness  such 
as  could  only  have  proceeded  from  the  plein-air  school.  For  this 
darkness  of  theirs  is  likewise  full  of  atmosphere,  a  darkness  in 
which  there  is  life  and  breath  and  palpitation.  In  earlier  days, 
when  a  night  was  painted,  everything  was  thick  and  opaque, 
c  >vered  with  black  verging  into  yellow;  to  which  latter  error 
aitists  were  seduced  by  the  crusts  of  varnish  upon  old  pictures. 
Now  they  learnt  to  interpret  the  mysterious  life  of  the  night,  and 
to  render  the  bluish-grey  atmosphere  of  twilight.     Or  if  figures 


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INTRODUCTION  3 

were  to  be  painted  in  a  room,  artists  rendered  the  circulation  of 
the  air  amid  groups  of  people,  which  Correggio  called  "the 
ambient  **  and  Velasquez  "  respiration."  And  there  came  also  the 
study  of  artificial  illumination— of  the  delicate  coloured  charm  of 
motley  lanterns,  of  the  flaring  gas  or  lamp-light  which  streams 
through  the  glass  windows  of  shops,  flaring  and  radiating 
through  the  night  and  reflected  in  a  blazing  glow  upon  the 
faces  of  men  and  women.  Under  these  purely  pictorial  points 
of  view  the  gradual  widening  of  the  range  of  subject  was 
completed. 

So  long  as  the  acquisition  of  sunlight  was  the  point  in 
question,  representations  from  the  life  of  artisans  in  town  and 
country  stood  at  the  centre  itself  of  artistic  efforts,  because  the 
conception  and  technical  methods  of  the  new  art  could  be 
tested  upon  them  with  peculiar  success.  And  through  these 
pictures  painting  came  into  closer  sympathy  with  the  heart-beat 
of  the  age.  At  an  epoch  when  the  labouring  man  as  such, 
and  the  political  and  social  movement  in  civilization,  had  become 
matters  of  absorbing  interest,  the  picture  of  artisans  necessarily 
claimed  an  important  place  in  art ;  and  one  of  the  best  sides 
of  the  moral  value  of  modern  painting  lies  in  its  no  longer 
holding  itself  in  indifference  aloof  from  these  themes.  When 
the  century  began.  Hector  and  Agamemnon  alone  were  qualified 
for  artistic  treatment,  but  in  the  natural  course  of  development 
the  disinherited,  the  weary  and  heavily-laden  likewise  acquired 
rights  of  citizenship.  In  the  passage  where  Vasari  speaks  of 
the  Madonnas  of  Cimabue,  comparing  them  with  the  older 
Byzantine  Virgins,  he  says  finely  that  the  Florentine  master 
brought  more  "  goodness  of  heart "  into  painting.  And  perhaps 
the  historians  of  the  future  will  say  the  same  about  the  art  of 
the  present 

The  predilection  for  the  disinherited  was  in  the  beginning 
to  such  an  extent  identified  with  the  plain,  straightforward 
painting  of  the  proletariat  that  Naturalism  could  not  be  con- 
ceived at  all  except  in  so  far  as  it  dealt  with  poverty  :  in  making 
its  first  great  successes  it  had  sought  after  the  miserable  and 
the  outcast,  and  serious  critics  recognized   its  chief  importance 


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4  INTRODUCTION 

in  the  discovery  of  the  fourth  estate.  Of  course  the  painting 
of  paupers,  as  a  sole  field  of  activity  for  the  new  art,  would 
have  been  an  exceedingly  one-sided  acquisition.  It  is  not 
merely  the  working-man  who  should  be  painted,  because  the  age 
must  strive  to  compass  in  a  large  and  full  spirit  the  purport 
of  its  own  complicated  conditions  of  life.  So  there  began,  in 
general,  the  representation,  so  long  needed,  of  the  man  of  to-day 
and  of  society  agitated,  as  it  is,  by  the  stream  of  existence.  As 
Zola  wrote  in  the  very  beginning  of  the  movement :  "  Naturalism 
does  not  depend  upon  the  choice  of  subject.  The  whole  of 
society  is  its  domain,  from  the  drawing-room  to  the  drinking- 
booth.  It  is  only  idiots  who  would  make  Naturalism  the  rhetoric 
of  the  gutter.  We  claim  for  ourselves  the  whole  world."  Every- 
thing is  to  be  painted,  forges,  railway-stations,  machine-rooms,  the 
workrooms  of  manual  labourers,  the  glowing  ovens  of  smelting- 
works,  official  f^tes,  drawing-roOms,  scenes  of  domestic  life,  cafh^ 
storehouses  and  markets,  the  races  and  the  Exchange,  the  clubs 
and  the  watering-places,  the  expensive  restaurants  and  the  dismal 
eating-houses  for  the  people,  the  cabinets  particuliers  and  cJUc  des 
premikreSy  the  return  from  the  Bois  and  the  promenades  on  the 
seashore,  the  banks  and  the  gambling-hells,  casinoes,  boudoirs, 
studios,  and  sleeping-cars,  overcoats,  eyeglasses,  and  red  dress- 
coats,  balls,  soir^es^  sport,  Monte  Carlo  and  Trouville,  the 
lecture-rooms  of  universities  and  the  fascination  of  the  crowded 
streets  in  the  evening,  the  whole  of  humanity  in  all  classes  of 
society  and  following  every  occupation,  at  home  and  in  the 
hospitals,  at  the  theatre,  upon  the  squares,  in  poverty-stricken 
slums  and  upon  the  broad  boulevards  lit  with  electric  light. 
Thus  the  new  art  flung  aside  the  blouse,  and  soon  displayed 
itself  in  the  most  various  costumes,  down  to  the  frock-coat  and 
the  smoking-jacket.  The  rude  and  remorseless  traits  which  it 
had  at  first,  and  which  found  expression  in  numbers  of  peasant, 
artisan,  and  hospital  pictures,  were  subdued  and  softened  until 
they  even  became  idyllic.  Moreover  the  scale  of  painting  over 
life-size,  favoured  in  the  early  years  of  the  movement,  could  be 
abandoned,  since  it  arose  essentially  from  competition  with  the 
works  of  the  historical  school.      So  long  as  those  huge  pictures 


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INTRODUCTION  5 

covered  the  walls  at  exhibitions,  artists  who  obeyed  a  new  ten- 
dency were  forced  from  the  beginning  —  if  they  wished  to 
prevail — to  produce  pictures  of  the  same  size.  But  since  his- 
torical painting  was  finally  dead  and  buried,  there  was  no  need 
to  set  up  such  a  standard  any  longer,  and  a  transition  could  be 
made  to  a  smaller  scale,  better  fitted  for  works  of  an  intimate 
character.  The  dazzling  tones  in  which  the  Impressionists 
revelled  were  replaced  by  those  which  were  dim  and  soft,  energy 
and  force  by  subdued  and  tender  treatment,  largeness  of  size 
by  a  scale  which  was  small  and  intimate. 

That  was  more  or  less  the  course  of  evolution  run  through 
in  all  European  countries  in  a  similar  way  between  the  years 
1875  and  18S5.  Nor  was  it  possible  to  talk  of  "imitation  of  the 
French."  For  "resemblance,  and  even  uniformity  of  style  and 
taste,  is  not  necessarily  the  same  thing  as  subserviency.  In 
every  age  certain  tendencies  and  forms  of  representation,  like 
germs  in  the  air,  may  be  found  in  quarters  divided  from  each 
other  by  space  or  national  sentiment ;  they  are  lit  upon  by 
more  than  one  person,  and  arise  without  outward  communication, 
just  as  discoveries  in  science  and  inventions  in  mechanics  are 
often  independently  made  by  several  persons.  Every  age  leaves 
its  successor  a  heritage  of  latent  f>owers,  forms  in  need  of 
development,  and  disturbing  questions.  Thus  the  dissimilarity 
of  artists  belonging  to  different  generations,  though  natives  of 
the  same  place  and  closely  related,  is  materially  greater  than 
the  distinction  between  contemporaries  belonging  to  different 
places  and  completely  unknown  to  each  other.  As  soon  as 
they  have  found  their  feet,  the  work  of  pupils  has  a  very  different 
appearance  from  that  of  the  master  under  whose  roof  they  have 
worked  for  years  together ;  yet  masters  of  the  same  period,  who 
have  never  heard  of  each  other  and  are  of  distinct  nationalities, 
are  often  so  much  alike  that  they  could  be  taken  one  for  the 
other."  These  words  from  Justi's  Velasquez  are  sufficient  to  in- 
validate the  patriotic  fears  which  inferred  a  renunciation  of  the 
principle  of  nationality,  and  the  intrusion  of  a  nugatory  VolapQk 
into  art,  from  the  outward  parity  of  the  strivings  of  modern 
times. 


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6  INTRODUCTION 

The  history  of  art  knows  nothing  of  jnational  distinctions  in 
technique  and  subjects.  Subjects  rise  according  to  the  general 
atmosphere  of  civilization.  Technical  acquirements,  like  all  other 
newly  discovered  truths,  are  the  property  of  the  whole  world.  In 
fact  it  is  the  teaching  of  every  manual  of  art,  that  since  the 
introduction  of  Christianity  all  the  greater  and  more  powerful 
movements  amongst  the  Latin  and  German  races,  taken  together, 
were  not  permanently  localized  ;  they  were  not  confined  to  one 
people,  but  spread  over  the  whole  civilized  world.  Since  the  age 
of  the  old  Christian  basilica  and  the  Gothic  cathedral,  styles  have 
never  been  the  product  of  single  nations.  And  in  this  sense 
"the  new  art"  which  has  flooded  Europe  for  twenty  years  is 
not  an  invention  of  the  French,  but  a  free  and  independent 
expression  of  the  new  spirit  It  was  not  in  France,  it  was  not 
scattered  here  and  there  in  particular  countries,  that  this  spirit 
appeared ;  it  was  a  single  stream  of  new  blood  pouring  through 
arteries  to  the  East  and  the  West,  to  the  North  and  the  South, 
in  painting  as  in  all  other  departments  of  intellectual  life.  In 
all  literatures  the  same  battles  had'  been  raging  long.  What 
Zola  was  to  Parisians,  Dostoievski  was  in  Russia,  Ibsen  in 
Norway,  Echegaray  in  Spain,  and  Verga  in  Italy.  It  is  probably 
only  because  the  French  are  people  with  a  gift  for  the  initiative 
in  art,  because  they  so  eminently  possess  the  talent  for  cutting 
the  facets  of  a  jewel,  and  for  first  giving  an  idea  or  a  subject 
an  intelligible,  attractive,  and  generally  valid  form,  that  the 
revolution  in  painting  proceeded  from  them,  whilst  in  literature 
they  share  that  glory  with  the  Norwegians  and  the  Russians. 

But,  as  a  matter  of  fact,  the  main  principle  of  modern  art 
had  the  effect  of  turning  national  distinctions  to  account  far 
more  than  had  been  the  case  in  earlier  times.  In  the  first  half 
of  the  century  there  had  been  a  tendency  to  suppress  what  is 
individual  and  peculiar,  subordinating  it  to  a  universal  rule. 
Painters  of  all  countries  moved  at  the  command  of  the  old 
masters  with  all  the  evenness  of  soldiers  on  parade.  Then,  in 
accordance  with  Courbet's  doctrine,  the  artist  became  the  slave 
of  nature.  Painters  opposed  historical  art  and  imitation  with  all 
their  power,  and  began  to  see  nature  with  their  own  eyes,  though 


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Il^TRODUCTION  7 

they  worked,  it  must  be  owned,  as  objectively  as  if  the  medium 
of  the  human  soul  were  of  evil  inspiration  and  man  capable  of 
beholding  the  world  like  a  photographic  apparatus,  leaving  his 
inner  self  at  home  whilst  the  process  was  going  on.  Compared 
with  this  kind  of  realism,  Naturalism  meant  the  liberation  of 
individual  temperament.  The  Impressionists  also  dispensed  with 
all  recipes  and  relied  upon  nature,  though  not,  as  Courbet,  at 
the  expense  of  their  artistic  personality.  On  the  contrary,  they 
demanded  practically  everything  from  this  element.  Instead  of 
copying  nature  pedantically  in  its  stale  reality,  they  endeavoured 
to  seize  her  in  fleeting  moments,  beaming  with  colour,  and  in 
all  the  sheer  poetry  of  her  essential  life ;  they  sought  her  in 
moments  when  she  had  a  special  quickening  power  upon  the 
spirit  of  the  artist  who  abandoned  himself  to  his  personal  vision. 
The  temperament  of  the  painter,  which  had  been  a  necessary 
evil  in  the  tyts  of  the  realist,  a  danger  to  objectivity  of  repre- 
sentation, and  a  hindrance  to  the  effort  at  attaining  complete 
truth,  now  became  the  determining  element  in  a  work  of  art. 
But  temperament  is  an  affair  of  blood.  It  is  only  a  man  of 
feeble  talent,  such  as  could  be  dispensed  with  altogether,  who 
will  be  a  mere  imitator.  The  individuality  of  the  true  artist  is 
a  thing  which  never  loses  the  mark  of  race.  The  more  completely 
he  abandons  himself  to  his  own  temperament,  the  more  distinctly 
will  he  give  expression  to  national  individuality  also.  From 
these  differences  of  temperament  amongst  various  peoples, 
national  distinctiveness  in  art  can  alone  be  said  to  spring.  To 
bring  them  under  this  point  of  view,  assigning  to  every  country 
its  place  in  the  general  chart  of  modern  painting,  will  be  the 
task  of  the  following  section  of  this  work. 


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BOOK      IV 

THE    PAINTERS    OF   LIFE 


VOL.    III. 


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CHAPTER    XXXIV 
FRANCE 

Bastien- Lepage,  Vhermitte,  Roll,  Raffaelli,  deNitiis^  Ferdinand  Heilbuth^ 
Albert  AubUt,  Jean  Beraud,  Ulysse  Bulin,  ^douard  Dantan,  Henti 
Gervex,  Duez,  Friant,  Goeneutte,  Dagnan-Boaveret, — The  Landscape- 
Painters:  Seurat,  Signac,  Anquetin,  Angrand,  Lucien  Pissafrro, 
Pointelin,  Jan  Monchablon,  Montenard,  Dauphin,  Rosset-Granget, 
Entile  Barau,  Damoye,  Boudin,  Dumouliny  Lebourg,  Victor  Binet, 
Rjhte  Billotte,  —  The  Portrait  -  Painters :  Fantin  -  Latour,  Jacques 
Entile  Blanche,  Boldini,  —  The  Draughtsmen :  Cheret,  Willette, 
Forain,  Paul  Renouard,  Daniel  Vierge. 

PARIS,  which  for  a  hundred  years  had  given  the  signal  for 
all  novel  tactics  in  European  art,  still  remained  at  the  head 
of  the  movement ;  the  artistic  temperament  of  the  French  people 
themselves,  and  the  superlatively  excellent  training  which  the 
painter  enjoys  in  Paris,  enable  him  at  once  to  follow  every 
change  of  taste  with  confidence  and  ease.  In  1883  Manet  died, 
on  the  varnishing  day  of  the  Salon,  and  in  the  preface  which 
Zola  wrote  to  the  catalogue  of  the  exhibition  held  after  the 
death  of  the  master,  he  was  well  able  to  say :  "  His  influence  is 
an  accomplished  fact,  undeniable,  and  making  itself  more  deeply 
felt  with  every  fresh  Salon.  Look  back  for  twenty  years,  recall 
those  black  Salons,  in  which  even  studies  from  the  nude  seemed 
as  dark  as  if  they  had  been  covered  with  mouldering  dust.  In 
huge  frames  history  and  mythology  were  smothered  in  layers 
of  bitumen  ;  never  was  there  an  excursion  into  the  province  of 
the  real  world,  into  life  and  into  perfect  light ;  scarcely  here  or 
there  a  tiny  landscape,  where  a  patch  of  blue  sky  ventured 
bashfully  to   shine   down.      But   little   by  little  the   Salons  were 


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12  MODERN  PAINTING 

seen  to  brighten,  and  the  Romans  and  Greeks  of  mahogany  to 
vanish  in  company  with  the  nymphs  of  porcelain,  whilst  the 
stream  of  modern  representations  taken  from  ordinary  life  in- 
creased year  by  year,  and  flooded  the  walls,  bathing  them  with 
vivid  tones  in  the  fullest  sunlight.  It  was  not  merely  a  new 
period ;  it  was  a  new  painting  bent  upon  reaching  the  perfect 
light,  respecting  the  law  of  colour  values,  setting  every  figure 
in  full  light  and  in  its  proper  place,  instead  of  adapting  it  in 
an  ideal  fashion  according  to  established  tradition." 

When  the  way  had  been  paved  for  this  change,  when  the 
new  principles  had  been  transferred  from  the  chamber  of  experi- 
ments to  full  publicity,  from  the  Salon  des  Refuses  to  the  Saloa 
which  was  official,  it  was  chiefly  the  merit  of  Bastien-Lepage 
to  have  gained  the  first  adherents  to  them  amongst  the  public. 
What  was  experimental  in  Manet  ripened  in  him  to  easy 
mastery.  He  is  the  first  who  overcame,  in  himself,  the  defiant 
hostility  of  vehement  youth,  and  attained  truth  and  beauty.  For 
him  the  new  technique  was  a  matter  of  course,  a  natural 
language,  without  which  he  could  not  have  expressed  himself 
without  constraint,  and  in  a  full,  ripe,  mature,  unconscious, 
and  straightforward  manner.  But  because  he  does  not  belong 
to  the  pioneers  of  art,  and  merely  adapted  for  the  great  public 
elements  that  had  been  won  by  Manet,  the  immoderate  praise 
which  was  accorded  him  in  earlier  days  has  been  recently 
brought  within  more  legitimate  limits.  It  has  been  urged,  by 
way  of  restriction,  that  he  stands  in  relation  to  Manet  as 
Breton  to  Millet,  and  that,  admitting  all  differences,  he  has 
nevertheless  a  certain  resemblance  to  his  teacher,  Cabanel.  As 
the  latter  rendered  Classicism  elegant,  Bastien-Lepage,  it  has 
been  said,  softened  the  ruggedness  of  Naturalism,  cut  and 
polished  the-  nails  of  his  peasants,  and  made  their  rusticity  a 
pretty  thing,  qualifying  it  for  the  drawing-room.  Degas  was  in 
the  habit  of  calling  him  the  Bouguereau  of  Naturalism.  But 
such  critics  forget  that  it  was  just  these  amiable  concessions 
which  helped  the  principles  of  Manet  to  prevail  more  swiftly 
than  would  have  been  otherwise  possible.  All  the  forms  and 
ideas  of  the  Impressionists,  with  which  no  one,  outside  the  ring 


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FRANCE 


Paris :  Bascktt.] 

Jules  Bastien- Lepage. 


of  artists,  had  been  able 
to  reconcile  himself,  were 
to  be  found  in  Bastien- 
Lepage,  purified,  miti- 
gated, and  set  in  a  golden 
style.  He  followed  the 
iclaireurs^  as  the  leader 
of  the  main  body  of  the 
army  which  has  gained 
the  decisive  battle,  and 
in  this  way  he  has  ful- 
filled an  important  mis- 
sion in  the  history  of 
art. 

\  Bastien  -  Lepage  was 
bom  in  ancient  Damvil- 
lers — once  a  small  strong- 
hold of  Lorraine — in  a 
pleasant,  roomy  house  that  told  a  tale  of  even  prosperity  rather 
than  of  wealth.  As  a  boy  he  played  amongst  the  venerable 
moats  which  had  been  converted  into  orchards.  Thus  in  his 
youth  he  received  the  freshest  impressions,  being  brought  up  in 
the  heart  of  nature.  His  father  drew  a  good  deal  himself,  and 
kept  his  son  at  work  with  the  pencil,  without  any  aesthetic 
theories,  without  any  vague  ideal,  and  without  ever  uttering  the 
word  "  academy "  or  "  museum."  Having  left  school  in  Verdun, 
Bastien-Lepage  went  to  Paris  to  become  an  official  in  the  post- 
office.  Of  an  afternoon,  however,  he  drew  and  painted  with 
Cabanel.  But  he  was  Cabanel's  pupil  much  as  Voltaire  was  a 
pupil  of  the  Jesuits.  "  My  handicraft,"  as  he  said  afterwards.  **  I 
learnt  at  the  Academy,  but  not  my  art.  You  want  to  paint 
what  exists,  and  you  are  invited  to  represent  the  unknown  ideal, 
and  to  dish  up  the  pictures  of  the  old  masters.  In  old  days 
I  scrawled  drawings  of  gods  and  goddesses,  Greeks  and  Romans, 
beings  I  didn't  know,  and  didn't  understand,  and  regarded  with 
supreme  indifference.  To  keep  up  my  courage,  I  repeated  to 
myself    that   this   was   possibly   *  grand    art,*   and    I    ask    myself 


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sometimes  whether  any- 
thing academical  still  re- 
mains in  my  composition. 
I  do  not  say  that  one 
should  only  paint  everyday 
life ;  but  I  do  assert  that 
when  one  paints  the  past 
it  should,  at  any  rate,  be 
made  to  look  like  some- 
thing human,  and  corre- 
spond with  what  one  sees 
around  one.  It  would  be 
so  easy  to  teach  the  mere 
craft  of  painting  at  the 
academies,  without  in- 
cessantly talking  about 
Michael  Angelo,  and 
Raphael  and  Murillo  and 
Domenichino.  Then  one 
would  go  home  afterwards 
to  Brittany,  Gascony,  Lor- 
raine, or  Normandy,  and  paint  what  lies  around  ;  and  any  morning, 
after  reading,  if  one  had  a  fancy  to  represent  the  Prodigal  Son, 
or  Priam  at  the  feet  of  Achilles,  or  anything  of  the  kind,  one 
would  paint  such  scenes  in  one's  own  fashion,  without  remini- 
scences of  the  galleries — paint  them  in  the  surroundings  of  the 
country,  with  the  models  that  one  has  at  hand,  just  as  if  the 
old  drama  had  taken  place  yesterday  evening.  It  is  only  in 
that  way  that  art  can  be  living  and  beautiful." 

The  outbreak  of  the  war  fortunately  prevented  him  from 
remaining  long  at  the  Academy.  He  entered  a  company  of 
Franc-Tireurs,  took  part  in  the  defence  of  Paris,  and  returned 
ill  to  Damvillers.  Here  he  came  to  know  himself  and  his 
peculiar  talent.  At  once  a  poet  and  a  realist,  he  looked  at 
nature  with  that  simple  frankness  which  those  alone  possess 
who  have  learnt  from  youth  upwards  to  see  with  their  own 
eyes   instead    of  trusting    those    of    other   people.      His    friends 


Pai-iB :  Baachti.} 
Bastien- Lepage  :  Portrait  of  his  Grand- 
father. 
{Bv  perfMission  of  Mons.  E,  Basf/eft'Lepag^f  the  owner 
of  th€  picture.) 


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Gaz.  dts  Bgaux-jifis.} 

Bastien-Lepage  :  Sarah  Bernhardt. 


called  him  "  primitive,"  and 
there  was  some  truth  in' 
what  they  said,  for  Bastien- 
Lepage  came  to  art  free 
from  all  trace  of  manner- 
ism ;  he  knew  nothing 
of  academical  rules,  and 
merely  relied  upon  his 
eyes,  which  were  »  always. 
open  and  trustworthy. 

Looking  back  as  far  as 
he  could,  he  was  able  to 
remember  nothing  except 
gleaners  bowed  over  the 
stubble  -  fields,  vintagers 
scattered  amid  the  furrows 
of  the  vineyards,  mowers 
whose  robust  figures  rose 
brightly    from     the    green 

meadows,  shepherdesses  seeking  shelter  beneath  tall  trees  from 
the  blazing  rays  of  the  midday  sun,  shepherds  shivering  in  their 
ragged  cloaks  in  winter,  peddlers  hurrying  with  great  strides 
across  the  plain  raked  by  a  storm,  laundresses  laughing  as  they 
stood  at  their  tubs  beneath  the  blossoming  apple-trees.  He 
was  impressionable  to  everything :  the  dangerous-looking  tramp 
who  hung  about  one  day  near  his  father's  house  ;  the  wood- 
cutter groaning  beneath  the  weight  of  his  burden  ;  the  passer-by 
trampling  the  fresh  grass  of  the  meadows  and  leaving  his  trace 
behind  him  ;  the  little  sickly  girl  minding  her  lean  cow  upon 
a  wretched  field  ;  the  fire  which  broke  out  in  the  night  and  set 
the  whole  village  in  commotion.  That  was  what  he  wanted  to 
paint,  and  that  is  what  he  has  painted.  The  life  of  the  peasants 
of  Lorraine  is  the  theme  of  all  his  pictures,  the  landscape  of 
Lorraine  is  their  setting.  He  painted  what  he  loved,  and  he 
loved  what  he  painted. 

It  was  in   Damvillers  that  he  felt  at  home  as  an  artist.     He 
had  his  studio  in  the  second  story  of  his  father's  house,  though 


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MODERN  PAINTING 


he  usually  painted  in  the 
open  air,  either  in  the  field 
or  the  orchard,  whilst  his 
grandfather,  an  old  man  of 
eighty,  was  near  him  clip- 
ping the  trees,  watering  the 
flowers,  and  weeding  the 
grass.  His  mother,  a 
genuine  peasant,  was  always 
busy  with  the  thousand 
cares  of  housekeeping.  Of 
an  evening  the  whole  family 
sat  together  round  the  lamp, 
his  mother  sewing,  his  father 
reading  the  paper,  his  grand- 
father with  the  great  cat  on 
his  lap,  and  Jules  working. 
At  this  time  it  was  that 
he  produced  those  familiar 
domestic  scenes,  thrown  off 
with  a  few  strokes,  which 
were  to  be  seen  at  the 
exhibition  of  the  works 
which  he  left  behind  him. 
He  knew  no  greater  pleasure 
than  that  of  drawing  again 
and  again  the  portraits  of 
his  father  and  mother,  the  old  lamp,  or  the  velvet  cap  of  his 
grandfather.  At  ten  o'clock  sharp  his  father  gave  the  signal  for 
going  to  bed. 

In  Paris,  indeed,  other  demands  were  made.  In  1872  he 
painted,  with  the  object  of  being  represented  in  the  Salon,  that 
remarkable  picture  "In  the  Spring,"  the  only  one  of  his  works 
which  is  slightly  hampered  by  conventionality  in  conception. 
The  pupil  of  Cabanel  is  making  an  effort  at  truth,  and  has 
not  yet  the  courage  to  be  true  altogether.  Here,  as  in  the 
"Spring  Song"  which  followed,  there  is   a  mixture  of  borrowed 


Pari%  :  Baschet.] 
Bastien-Lepage  :  *•  The  Flower-Girl." 


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17 


ParU :  Btischei.} 

Bastien-Lepage  :  Madame  Drouet. 


sentiment,  work  in  the 
old  style  and  fresh  Natur- 
alism. The  landscape  is 
painted  from  nature,  and 
the  peasant  woman  is  real, 
but  the  Cupids  are  taken 
from  the  old  masters. 

The  next  years  were 
devoted  to  competitive 
labours.  To  please  his 
father  and  mother  Bastien- 
Lepage  twice  contested 
the  Prix  de  Rome,  In 
1873  he  painted  as  a 
prize  exercise  a  "  Priam 
before  Achilles,"  and  in 
1875  an  "Annunciation 
of     the     Angel     to    the 

Shepherds,"  that  now  famous  picture  which  received  the  medal  at 
the  World  Exhibition  of  1878.  And  he  who  afterwards  revelled 
in  the  clearest  plein-air  painting  here  celebrates  the  secret 
wonders  of  the  night,  though  the  influences  of  Impressionism 
are  here  already  visible.  In  his  picture  the  night  is  as  dark  as 
in  Rembrandt's  visions ;  yet  the  colours  are  not  harmonized  in 
gold-brown,  but  in  a  cool  grey  silver  tone.  And  how  simple 
the  effect  of  the  heavenly  appearance  upon  the  shepherds  lying 
round  the  fire  of  coals!  The  place  of  the  curly  ideal  heads  of 
the  old  sacred  painting  has  been  taken  by  those  of  bristly, 
unwashed  men  who,  nurtured  amid  the  wind  and  the  weather, 
know  nothing  of  those  arts  of  toilette  so  much  in  favour  with 
the  imitators  of  Raphael,  and  they  receive  the  miracle  with  the 
simplicity  of  elementary  natures.  Fear  and  abashed  astonish- 
ment at  the  angelic  appearance  are  reflected  in  their  faces,  and 
the  plain  and  homely  gestures  of  their  hands  are  in  correspond- 
ence with  their  inward  excitement.  Even  the  angel  turning 
towards  the  shepherds  was  conceived  in  an  entirely  human  and 
simple  way.     In  spite  of  this,  or  just  because  of  it,  Bastien  failed 


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MODERN  PAINTING 


GajB.  dta  Beanx'Arts.} 

Bastien-Lepage  :  "  The  Hay  Harvest." 

with  his  "  Annunciation  to  the  Shepherds,'*  as  he  had  done 
previously  with  his  "  Priam."  Once  the  prize  was  taken  by 
L^on  Comerre,  a  pupil  of  Cabanel,  and  on  the  other  occasion 
by  Josef  Wencker,  the  pupil  of  Gdrdme.  It  was  written  in  the 
stars  that  Bastien-Lepage  was  not  to  go  to  Rome,  and  it  did 
him  as  little  harm  as  it  had  done  to  Watteau  a  hundred  and 
sixty  years  before.  In  Italy  Bastien-Lepage  would  only  have 
been  spoilt  for  art.  The  model  profitable  for  him  was  not 
one  of  the  old  Classic  painters,  but  nature  as  she  is  in  Damvillers, 
great  maternal  nature.  When  the  works  sent  in  for  the  com- 
petition were  exhibited,  a  sensation  was  made  when  one  day 
a  branch  of  laurel  was  laid  on  the  frame  of  Bastien-Lepage's 
"  Annunciation   to   the   Shepherds "   by   Sarah   Bernhardt.      And 


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Bastien-Lepage  :  ••Joan  of  Arc' 


[BruHM  photo. 


Sarah  Bernhardt's  portrait  became  the  most  celebrated  of  the 
small  likenesses  which  soon  laid  the  foundation  of  the  painter's 
fame. 

The  portrait  of  his  grandfather,  that  marvellous  work  of  a 
young  man  of  five-and-twenty,  is  the  first  picture  in  which  he 
was  completely  himself.  The  old  man  sits  in  a  corner  of  the 
garden,  just  as  usual,  in  a  brown  cap,  his  spectacles  upon  his 
nose,  his  arms  crossed  upon  his  lap,  with  a  horn  snuff-box  and 
a  check  handkerchief  lying  upon  his  knees.  How  perfectly 
easy  and  natural  is  the  pose,  how  thoughtful  the  physiognomy, 
what  a  personal  note  there  is  in  the  dress !  Xor  are  there  in 
that  garden,  bathed  in  light,  any  of  those  black  shadows  which 
only  fall  in  the  studio.  Everything  bore  witness  to  a  simplicity 
and  sincerity  which  justified  the  greatest  hopes.     After  that  first 


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MODERN  PAINTING 


Paris :  BtucM.] 

Bastien-Lepage  :  "  PkRE  Jacques." 


work  the  world  knew 
that  Bastien-Lepage 
was  a  pre-eminent 
portrait-painter,  and 
he  did  not  betray 
the  promise  of  his 
youth.  His  succeed- 
ing pictures  showed 
that  he  had  not 
merely  rusticity  and 
nature  to  rely  upon, 
but  that  he  was  a 
charmeur  in  the  best 
sense  of  the  word. 

This  ingenuous 
artist,  who  knew 
nothing  of  the  his- 
tory of  painting  and 
felt  more  at  home 
in  the  open  air  than  in  museums,  was  not  ignorant,  at  any 
rate,  of  the  portraits  of  the  sixteenth  century,  and  had  chosen  • 
for  his  likenesses  a  scale  as  small  as  that  which  Clouet  and  his 
school  preferred.  The  representation  here  reaches  a  depth  of 
characterization  which  recalls  Jan  van  Eyck*s  little  pearls  of 
portrait-painting.  In  these  works  also  he  mostly  confined  him- 
self to  bright  lights.  Portraits  of  this  type  are  those  of  his 
brother,  of  Madame  Drouet,  the  aged  friend  of  Victor  Hugo, 
with  her  weary,  gentle,  benevolent  face — a  masterpiece  of  intimate 
feeling  and  refinement — of  his  friend  and  biographer  Andr^ 
Theuriet,  of  Andfieux  the  prefect  of  the  police,  and  above  all 
the  famous  and  signal  work  of  inexorable  truth  and  marvellous 
delicacy,  Sarah  Bernhardt  in  profile,  with  her  tangled  chestnut 
hair,  sitting  upon  a  white  fur,  arrayed  in  a  white  China-silk 
dress  with  yellowish  lights  in  it,  and  carefully  examining  a 
Japanese  bronze.  The  bizarre  grace  of  the  tragic  actress,  her 
slender  figure,  fashioned,  as  it  were,  for  Donatello,  the  nervous 
intensity   with   which   she   sits   there,   her   wild   Chinese   method 


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Paris:  BaschttJl 

Bastien-Lepage :  "The  Beggar." 


of  wearing  the  hair, 
and  the  profile  of 
which  she  is  so  proud, 
have  been  rendered 
in  none  of  her  many 
likenesses  with  such 
an  irresistible  force 
of  attraction  as  in 
this  little  masterpiece. 
In  some  of  his  other 
portraits  Bastien- 
Lepage  has  not  dis- 
dained the  charm  of 
obscure  light ;  he 
has  not  done  so,  for 
example,  in  the  little 
portrait  of  Albert 
Wolff,  the  art-critic, 
as     he     sits     at     his 

writing-desk  amongst  his  artistic  treasures,  with  a  cigarette  in 
his  hand.  Only  Clouet  and  Holbein  painted  miniature  portraits 
of  such  refinement.  Amongst  moderns,  probably  Ingres  alone 
has  reached  such  a  depth  of  characterization  upon  the  smallest 
scale,  and  in  general  he  is  the  most  closely  allied  to  Bastien- 
Lepage  as  a  portrait-painter  in  profound  study  of  physiognomy, 
and  in  the  broad  and,  one  might  say,  chased  technique  of  his 
little  drawings.  Comparison  with  Gaillard  would  be  greatly  to 
the  disadvantage  of  this  great  engraver,  for  Bastien-Lepage  is 
at  once  more  seductive  and  many-sided.  It  is  curious  how 
seldom  his  portraits  have  that  family  likeness  which  is  else- 
where to  be  found  amongst  almost  all  portrait-painters.  In  his 
effort  at  penetrative  characterization  he  alters,  on  every  occasion, 
his  entire  method  of  painting  according  to  the  personality,  so 
that  it  leaves  at  one  time  an  effect  that  is  bizarre,  coquettish, 
and  full  of  intellectual  power  and  spirit,  at  another  one  which 
is  plain  and  large,  at  another  one  which  is  bashful,  sparing,  and 
bourgeois. 


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Faris:  Baschet.^ 


Bastien-Lepage  :    "The  Pond  at  Damvillers." 


As  a  painter  of  peasant  life  he  made  his  first  appearance 
in   1878. 

In  the  Salon  of  this  year  a  sensation  was  made  by  a  work 
of  such  truth  and  poetry  as  had  not  been  seen  since  Millet ; 
this  was  the  "  Hay  Harvest."  It  is  noon.  The  June  sun  throws 
its  heavy  beams  over  the  mown  meadows.  The  ground  rises 
slowly  to  a  boundless  horizon,  where  a  tree  emerges  here  and 
there,  standing  motionless  against  the  brilliant  sky.  The  grey 
and  the  green  of  these  great  plains — it  is  as  if  the  weariness 
of  many  toilsome  miles  rose  out  of  them — weighed  heavily  upon 
one,  and  created  a  sense  of  forsaken  loneliness.  Only  two  beings, 
a  pair  of  day-labourers,  break  the  wide  level  scorched  by  a 
quivering,  continuous  blaze  of  light.  They  have  had  their 
midday  meal,  and  their  basket  is  lying  near  them  upon  the 
ground.     The  man  has  now  lain  down  to  sleep  upon  a  heap  of 


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:sirv;.jA«f7^""=l 

^^^r 

7  .^^^^T^HnE^/aA^H 

^        i.JM2'^ 

■"^  iaP ' . 

^  y^)mm 

,«'    ■    ■;     V;. 

-'^•it' 

^^-'  ■-- : 

^^£^. 

^:  0: 

'  !i.^;- 

^  ^  ^  ^ 

hay,  with  his  hat 
tilted  over  his  eyes. 
But  the  woman 
sits  dreaming,  tired 
with  the  long  hours 
of  work,  dazzled 
with  the  glare  of 
the  sun,  and  over- 
powered by  the 
odour  of  the  hay 
and  the  sultriness 
of  noon.  She  does 
not  know  the  drift 
of  her  thoughts ; 
nature  is  working 
upon  her,  and  she 
has  feelings  which 
she  scarcely  under- 
stands herself.  She 
is    sunburnt     and 

ugly,  and  her  head  is  square  and  heavy,  and  yet  there  lies  a 
world  of  sublime  and  mystical  poetry  in  her  dull,  dreamy  eyes 
gazing  into  a  mysterious  horizon.  By  this  picture  and  "The 
Potato  Harvest,"  which  succeeded  it  in  1879,  Bastien-Lepage, 
the  splendid,  placed  himself  in  the  first  line  of  modern  French 
painters.  This  time  he  renders  the  sentiment  of  October.  The 
sandy  fields,  impregnated  with  dust,  rest  in  a  white,  subdued 
light  of  noon ;  pale  brown  are  the  potato  stalks,  pale  brown  the 
blades  of  grass,  and  the  roads  are  bright  with  dust ;  and  through 
this  landscape,  with  its  wide  horizon,  where  the  tree-tops,  half 
despoiled  already,  shiver  in  the  wind,  there  blows  /e  grand  air, 
a  breeze  strong  as  only  Millet  in  his  water-colours  had  the 
secret  of  painting  it.  With  Millet  he  shares  likewise  the  breath 
of  tender  melancholy  which  broods  so  sadly  over  his  pictures. 
"The  Girl  with  the  Cow,"  the  little  Fauvette,  that  child  of 
social  misery — misery  that  lies  sorrowful  and  despairing  in  the 
gaze  of  her  eyes — is,  perhaps,  the  most  touching  example  of  his 


\,BraHH  photo, 
Bastien-Lepage  :   "  Love  in  the  Village." 


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brooding  devotion  to 
truth.  Her  brown 
dress  is  torn  and 
dirty,  while  a  grey 
kerchief  borders  her 
famished,  sickly  face. 
A  waste,  disconso- 
late landscape,  with 
a  frozen  tree  and 
withered  thistles, 
stretches  round  like 
a  boundless  Nir- 
vana. Above  there 
is  a  whitish,  clear, 
tremulous  sky, 
making  everything 
paler,  more  arid 
and  wearily  bright ; 
there  is  no  gleam  of 
rich  luxuriant  tints, 
but  only  dry,  stinted 
colours ;  and  not  a 
sound  is  there  in  the  air,  not  a  scythe  driving  through  the  grass, 
not  a  cart  clattering  over  the  road.  There  is  something  over- 
whelming in  this  union  between  man  and  nature.  One  thinks 
of  the  famous  words  of  Taine  :  "  Man  is  as  little  to  be  divided 
from  the  earth  as  an  animal  or  a  plant  Body  and  soul  are 
influenced  in  the  same  way  by  the  environment  of  nature,  and 
from  this  influence  the  destinies  of  men  arise."  As  an  insect 
draws  its  entire  nature,  even  its  form  and  colour,  from  the  plant 
on  which  it  lives,  so  is  the  child  the  natural  product  of  the 
earth  upon  which  it  stands,  and  all  the  impulses  of  its  spirit  are 
reflected  in  the  landscape. 

In  1879  Bastien-Lepage  went  a  step  further.  In  that  year 
appeared  "Joan  of  Arc,"  his  masterpiece  in  point  of  spiritual 
expression.  Here  he  has  realized  the  method  of  treating  his- 
torical  pictures    which    floated    before    him    as    an    idea    at   the 


Paris:  Baschei.} 

Bastien-Lepage  : 


•The  Haymaker." 


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Maga»in§  of  Art.] 
Bastien-Lepage  on  his  Sick-Bed. 
(By  permission  of  Moms.  E.  Bastien-Lepagtt 
th§  ovontr  of  the  copyright.) 


Academy,  and  has,  at  the  same 
time,  solved  a  problem  which 
beset  him  from  his  youth — the 
penetration  of  mysticism  and  the 
world  of  dreams  into  the  reality 
of  life.  *'  The  Annunciation  to 
the  Shepherds,"  "In  Spring," 
and  "The  Spring  Song  "were 
merely  stages  on  a  course  of 
which  he  reached  the  destination 
in  "Joan  of  Arc."  His  ideal 
was  "  to  paint  historical  themes 
without  reminiscences  of  the 
galleries^ — paint  them  in  the  sur- 
roundings of  the  country,  with 
the  models  that  one  has  at  hand, 
just  as  if  the  old  drama  had 
taken  place  yesterday  evening." 

The  scene  of  the  picture  is  a  garden  of  Damvillers  painted 
exactly  from  nature,  with  its  grey  soil,  its  apple-  and  pear-trees 
clothed  with  small  leaves,  its  vegetable  beds,  and  its  flowers 
growing  wild.  Joan  herself  is  a  pious,  careworn,  dreamy  country 
girl.  Every  Sunday  she  has  been  to  church,  lost  herself  in  long 
mystic  reveries  before  the  old  sacred  pictures,  heard  the  misery 
of  France  spoken  of;  and  the  painted  statues  of  the  parish 
church  and  its  tutelary  saints  pursue  her  thoughts.  And  just 
to-day,  as  she  sat  winding  yarn  in  the  shadow  of  the  apple-trees, 
murmuring  a  prayer,  she  heard  of  a  sudden  the  heavenly 
voices  speaking.  The  spirits  of  St.  Michael,  St.  Margaret, 
and  St.  Catharine,  before  whose  statues  she  has  prayed  so 
often,  have  freed  themselves  from  the  wooden  images  and  float 
as  light  phantoms,  as  pallid  shapes  of  mist,  which  will  as  sud- 
denly vanish  into  air  before  the  eyes  of  the  dreaming  girl. 
Joan  rises  trembling,  throwing  her  stool  over,  and  steps  forward. 
She  stands  in  motionless  ecstasy  stretching  out  her  left  arm, 
and  gazing  into  vacancy  with  her  pupils  morbidly  dilated.  Of 
all  human    phases   of  expression   which   painting  can   approach, 

VOL.    III.  3 


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such  mystical  de- 
lirium is  perhaps  the 
hardest  to  render ; 
and  probably  it  was 
only  by  the  aid  of 
hypnotism,  to  which 
the  attention  of  the 
painter  was  directed 
just  then  by  the  ex- 
periments of  Charcot, 
that  Bast ien- Lepage 
was  enabled  to  pro- 
duce in  his  model 
that  look  of  religious 
rapture,  oblivious  to 
the  whole  world, 
which  is  expressed 
in  the  vague  glance 
of  her  eyes,  blue  as 
the  sea. 

"Joan  of  Arc" 
was  succeeded  by  "  The  Beggar,"  that  life-size  figure  of  the  haggard 
old  tramp,  who,  with  a  thick  stick  under  his  arm — of  which  he 
would  make  use  upon  any  suitable  occasion — picks  up  what  he 
can  in  the  villages,  saying  a  paternoster  before  the  doors  while 
he  begs.  This  time  he  has  been  ringing  at  the  porch  of  an 
ordinary  middle-class  dwelling,  and  he  is  sulkily  thrusting  into 
the  wallet  slung  round  his  shoulders  a  great  hunch  of  bread 
which  a  little  girl  has  just  given  to  him.  There  is  a  mixture  of 
spite  and  contempt  in  his  eyes  as  he  goes  off  in  his  heavy 
wooden  shoes  with  a  shuffling  gait.  And  behind  the  doorpost 
the  little  girl,  who,  in  her  pretty  blue  frock,  has  such  a  trim  air 
of  wearing  her  Sunday  best,  glances  at  the  mysterious  old  man, 
rather  scared. 

"  Un  brave  Homme,"  or  "  Le  P^re  Jacques,"  as  the  master 
afterwards  called  the  picture,  was  to  some  extent  a  pendant  to 
"  The   Beggar."  ,  He  comes  out  of  the  wood   wheezing,   with   a 


Marie  Baskirtscheff :    "A  Meeting." 


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UArt,^ 


iBelltnger  sc. 
Leon  L'hermitte. 


pointed  cap  upon  his  head  and 

a   heavy   bundle   of  wood   upon 

his   shoulders,  whilst  at  his  side 

his  little  grandchild    is   plucking 

the  last  flowers.     It  is  November  ; 

the  leaves  have  turned  yellow  and 

cover  the  ground.      Pire  Jacques 

is  providing  against  the  Winter. 

And  the  Winter  is  drawing  near 

— death. 

Bastien-Lepage's    health   had 

never  been  good,  nor  was  Parisian 

life  calculated  to  make  it  better. 
Slender  and  delicate,  blond  with 

blue  eyes  and  a  sharply  chiselled 

profile — toui  petit,  tout  blond,  les 
-cluveux  a  la  bretonne,  le  nez  re- 
iroussi  et  une  barbe  d' adolescent,  as  Marie  Baskirtscheff  describes 
him — he  was  just  the  type  which  Parisiennes  adore.  His  studio 
Avas  besieged ;  there  was  no  entertainment  to  which  he  was  not 
invited,  no  committee,  no  meeting  to  hold  judgment  over  pictures 
at  which  he  was  not  present  Amateurs  fought  for  his  works  and 
asked  for  his  advice  when  they  made  purchases.  Pupils  flocked 
to  him  in  numbers.  He  was  intoxicated  with  the  Parisian  world, 
enchanted  with  its  modern  elegance  ;  he  loved  the  vibration  of 
life,  and  rejoiced  in  masked  balls  like  a  child.  Consumptive 
people  are  invariably  sensuous,  drinking  in  the  pleasures  of 
life  with  more  swift  and  hasty  draughts.  He  then  left  Paris 
and  plunged  into  the  whirlpool  of  other  great  cities.  From 
Switzerland,  Venice,  and  London  he  came  back  with  pictures 
and  landscapes.  In  London,  indeed,  he  painted  that  beautiful 
picture  "  The  Flower-Girl,"  the  pale,  delicate  child  upon  whose 
faded  countenance  love  and  hunger  have  so  early  left  their  traces. 
Through  the  whole  summer  of  1882  he  worked  incessantly  in 
Damvillers.,  Once  more  he  painted  his  native  place  in  a  land- 
scape of  the  utmost  refinement  Here,  as  in  his  portraits,  every- 
thing  has    been    rendered    with    a    positive    tren  chancy,    with    a 


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severe,  scientific  effort  after  truth,  in  which  there  lies  what  is 
almost  a  touch  of  aridness.  And  yet  an  indescribable  magic 
is  thrown  over  the  fragrant  green  of  the  meadows,  the  young,, 
quivering  trees,  and  the  still  pond  which  stretches  rippling  in 
the  cloudless  summer  sun. 

In  1883  there  appeared  in  the  Salon  that  wonderful  picture 
"  Love  in  the  Village."  The  girl  has  hung  up  her  washing  on 
the  paling,  and  the  neighbour's  son  has  run  down  with  a  flower 
in  his  hand ;  she  has  taken  the  flower,  and  in  confusion  they 
have  suddenly  turned  their  backs  upon  each  other  and  stand 
there  without  saying  a  word.  They  love  each  other,  and  wish 
to  marry,  but  how  hard  is  the  first  confession.  Note  how  the 
lad  is  turning  his  fingers  about  in  his  embarrassment ;  note  the 
confusion  of  the  girl,  which  may  be  seen,  although  she  is  look- 
ing towards  the  background  of  the  picture ;  note  the  spring 
landscape,  which  is  as  fair  as  the  figures  it  surrounds. 

It  is  a  tender  dreamer  who  gives  himself  expression  here — 
and  love  came  to  him  also. 

Enthusiastically  adored  by  the  women  in  his  school  of  paint- 
ing, he  had  found  a  dear  friend  in  Marie  Baskirtscheff^  the  dis- 
tinguished young  Russian  girl  who  had  become  his  pupil  just  as- 
his  fame  began  to  rise.  It  is  charming  to  see  the  enthusiasm 
with  which  Marie  speaks  of  him  in  her  diary.  ''Je  peins  sur  la 
propre  palette  du  vrai  Bastien^  avec  des  couleurs  d  ////,  son  pinceau^ 
son  atelier^  et  son  frere  pour  viodkle!^  And  how  the  others  envy 
her  because  of  it !  "  La  petite  Suidoise  voulait  toucher  d  sa  palette^ 
With  Marie  he  sketched  his  plans  for  the  future,  and  in  the  midst 
of  this  restless  activity  he  was  summoned  hence  together  with 
her,  for  she  also  died  young,  at  the  age  of  twenty-four,  just  as 
her  pictures  beg^n  to  create  a  sensation.  A  touching  idyll  in 
her  diary  tells  how  the  girl  learnt,  when  she  was  dying  of  con- 
sumption, that  young  Bastien  had  also  fallen  ill,  and  been  given 
up  as  hopeless.  So  long  as  Marie  could  go  out  of  doors  she 
went  with  her  mother  and  her  aunt  to  visit  her  sick  friend ; 
and  when  she  was  no  longer  allowed  to  leave  the  house  he  had 
himself  carried  up  the  steps  to  her  drawing-room  by  his  brother,^ 
and  there  they  both  sat  beside  each  other  in  armchairs,  and  saw 


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the  end  draw  near,  merciless  and  inevitable,  the  end  of  their 
young  lives,  their  talents,  their  ambition,  and  their  hopes.  "At 
last !     Here  it  is  then,  the  end  of  all  my  sufferings !      So  many 

efforts,  so   many  wishes,  so   many  plans,  so  many  , 

and  then  to  die  at  four-and-twenty  upon  the  threshold  of  them 
all!" 

Her  last  picture  was  one  of  six  schoolboys,  sons  of  the 
people,  who  are  standing  at  a  street  corner  chattering ;  and  it 
makes  a  curiously  virile  impression,  when  one  considers  that  it 
was  painted  by  a  blonde  young  girl,  who  slept  under  dull  blue 
silken  bed-curtains,  dressed  almost  entirely  in  white,  was  rubbed 
with  perfumes  after  a  walk  in  hard  weather,  and  wore  on  her 
shoulders  furs  which  cost  two  thousand  francs.  It  hangs  in  the 
Luxembourg,  and  for  a  long  time  a  lady  dressed  in  mourning 
used  to  come  there  every  week  and  cry  before  the  picture  painted 
by  the  daughter  whom  she  had  lost  so  early.  [Marie  died  on 
October  31st,  1884,  and  Bastien  barely  a  month  afterwards.  "  The 
Funeral  of  a  Young  Girl,**  in  which  he  wished  to  immortalize  the 
funeral  of  Marie,  was  his  last  sketch,  his  farewell  to  the  world, 
to  the  living,  alluring,  ever  splendid  nature  which  he  loved  so 
much,  grasped  and  comprehended  so  intimately,  and  to  the  hopes 
which  built  up  their  deceptive  castles  in  the  air  before  his  dying 
gaze.  He  died  before  he  reached  Raphael's  age,  for  he  was 
barely  thirty-six.  The  final  collapse  came  on  December  loth, 
1884,  upon  a  sad,  rainy  evening,  after  he  had  lain  several  months 
upon  a  bed  of  sickness.  His  frame  was  emaciated,  and  as  light 
as  that  of  a  child  ;  his  face  was  shrivelled — the  eyes  alone  had 
their  old  brilliancy. 

On  December  14th  his  body  was  brought  to  the  Eastern 
railway-station.  The  coffin  was  covered  with  roses,  white  elder 
blossoms,  and  immortelles.  And  now  he  lies  buried  in  Lorraine,  in 
the  little  churchyard  of  Damvillers,  where  his  father  and  grand- 
father rest  beneath  an  old  apple-tree.  Red  apple-blossoms  he 
loved  himself  so  dearly.  His  importance  Marie  Baskirtscheff 
has  summarized  simply  and  gracefully  in  the  words :  "  Cest  un 
artiste  puissanty  originel^  dest  un  pokte^  dest  un  philosophe  ;  les 
autres  ne  sont  que  des  fabricants  de  n'importe  quoi  d  c6ti  de  lui. 


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i'f'if/ijh 


L'hermitte:   "Paying  the  Reapers.' 


.  .  .  On  ne  peut  plus  rien   regarder  quand  on   voit  sa  peinturCy 
parce  que  (fest  beau  comme  la  nature^  comme  la  vie,  .  .  ." 

This  tender  poetic  trait  which  runs  through  his  works 
is  what  principally  distingfuishes  him  from  Uhermitte^  the 
most  sterling  representative  of  the  picture  of  peasant  life  at 
the  present  time.  I/hermitte,  also,  like  most  of  these  painters 
of  peasants,  was  himself  the  son  of  a  peasant  He  came  from 
Mont- Saint- P6re,  near  Chftteau-Thierry,  a  quiet  old  town,  where 
from  the  great  "  Hill  of  Calvary  "  one  sees  a  dilapidated  Gothic 
church  and  the  moss-grown  roofs  of  thatched  houses.  His 
grandfather  was  a  vine-grower  and  his  father  a  schoolmaster. 
He  worked  in  the  field  himself,  and,  like  Millet,  he  painted  after- 
wards the  things  which  he  had  done  himself  in  youth.  His 
principal  works  were  pictures  of  reapers  in  the  field,  peasant 
women  in  church,  young  wives  nursing  their  children,  rustics  at 
work,  here  and  there  masterly  water-colours,  pastels  and  char- 
coal drawings,  in  1888  the  pretty  illustrations  to  Andr6  Theuriet's 


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ifOtriiif>t     St\ 


L'hermitts:  ''Resting  from  Work." 
{By  ptrmistum  of  Messrs.  BoHSSoei,  Valadon  <S*  Co.t  the  owners  of  the  copyright.) 


Vie  RustiquCy  the  decoration  ol  a  hall  at  the  Sorbonne  with  repre- 
sentations of  rustic  life,  in  his  later  period  occasionally  pictures 
from  other  circles  of  life,  such  as  "  The  Fish-market  of  St. 
Malo,"  "  The  Lecture  in  the  Sorbonne,"  "  The  Musical  Soiree,"  and 
finally,  as  a  concession  to  the  religious  tendency  of  recent  years, 
a  "  Christ  visiting  the  House  of  a  Peasant"  He  has  his  studio 
in  the  Rue  Vaquelin  in  Paris,  though  he  spends  most  of  his  time 
in  the  village  where  he  was  born,  and  where  he  now  lives  quietly 
and  simply  with  the  peasants.  Most  of  his  works,  which  are 
to  be  ranked  throughout  amongst  the  most  robust  productions 
of  modern  Naturalism,  are  painted  in  the  great  glass  studio 
which  he  built  here  in  the  garden  of  his  father's  house.  Whilst 
Bastien- Lepage,  through  a  certain  softness  of  temperament,  was 
moved  to  paint  the  weak  rather  than  the  strong,  and  less  often 
men  in  the  prime  of  life  than  patriarchs,  women,  and   children. 


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M 

41 

^  :^^.r*^Jv; 

wv<9M^- 

^^W 

b^ 

--■■     :'^^,^V-1^^ 

m^^''\ 

Roll:   "The  Strike.*' 
(By  ptrmiBsion  of  th€  Arttsi.) 

Uhermitte  displays  the  peasant  in  all  his  rusticity.  He  knows  the 
country  and  the  labours  of  the  field  which  make  the  hands  homy 
and  the  face  brown,  and  he  has  rendered  them  in  a  strictly 
objective  manner,  in  a  great  sculptural  style.  Bastien-Lepage 
is  inclined  to  refinement  and  poetic  tenderness  ;  in  Uhermitte 
everything  is  clear,  precise,  and  sober  as  pale,  bright  daylight. 

Alfred  Roll  was  born  in  Paris,  and  the  artisan  of  the  Parisian 
streets  is  the  chief  hero  of  his  pictures.  Like  Zola  in  his 
Rougon-Macquart  series,  he  set  before  himself  the  aim  of  de- 
picting the  social  life  of  the  present  age  in  a  great  sequence  of 
pictures — the  workman's  strike,  war,  and  toil.  His  pictures 
give  one  the  impression  that  one  is  looking  down  from  the 
window  upon  an  agitated  scene  in  the  street  And  his  broad, 
plebeian  workmanship  is  in  keeping  with  his  rough  and  demo- 
cratic subjects.  He  made  a  beginning  in  1875  with  the  colossal 
picture  of  the  "  Flood  at  Toulouse."     The  roofs  of  little  peasants' 


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houses  rise  out  of  the  ex- 
panse of  water.  Upon  one 
of  them  a  group  of  country 
people  have  taken  refuge, 
and  are  awaiting  a  boat 
which  is  coming  from  far. 
A  young  mother  summons 
her  last  remnant  of  strength 
to  save  her  trembling  child. 
Beside  her  an  old  woman 
is  sitting,  sunk  in  the  stupor 
of  indifference,  while  in 
front  a  bull  is  swimming,  j^ 
bellowing  wildly  from  the 
water.  The  influence  of 
G^ricault's  "Raft  of  the 
Medusa"  is  indeed  ob- 
vious ;  but  how  much  more 
plainly  and  actually  has 
the  struggle  for  existence 
been  represented  here,  than 

by  the  great  Romanticist,  still  hampered  by  Classicism.  The 
devastating  effect  of  the  masses  of  water  in  all  their  elemental 
force  could  not  have  been  more  impressively  rendered  than  has 
been  done  through  this  bull  struggling  for  life  with  all  its 
enormous  strength. 

In  technique  this  picture  belongs  to  the  painter's  earlier 
phase.  Even  in  the  colouring  of  the  naked  figures  it  has  still 
the  dirty  heaviness  of  the  Bolognese.  This  bond  which  united 
him  to  the  school  of  Courbet  was  broken  when— probably  under 
the  influence  of  Zola*s  Germinal— \it.  painted  "The  Strike,"  in 
1880.  The  stern  reality  which  goes  through  Zola's  accounts  of 
the  life  of  pit-men  is  likewise  to  be  found  in  these  ragged  and 
starving  figur,cs,  clotted  with  coal  dust,  assembling  in  savage 
desperation  before  the  manufactory  walls,  prepared  for  a  rising. 
The  dull  grey  of  a  rainy  November  morning  spreads  above.  In 
1887  he  painted  war,  war  in  the  new  age,  in  which  one  man  is 


Ga«.  dt9  B€a9tX'Ati3.]  [DHJardin  Mio. 

Roll;   "Manda  LamItrie,  Fermiere." 


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GoM.  tUs  B€aMx-Arts.\ 


Roll:   "The  Woman  with  a  Bull." 
{By  permission  of  the  Artist.) 


iDujardin  helio. 


not  pitted  against  another,  but  great  masses  of  men,  who  kill 
without  seeing  one  another,  are  made  to  manoeuvre  with  scien- 
tific accuracy — war  in  which  the  balloon,  distant  signalling,  and 
all  the  discoveries  of  science  are  turned  to  account.  "  Work " 
was  the  last  picture  of  the  series.  There  are  men  toiling  in  the 
hot,  dusty  air  of  Paris  with  sandstones  of  all  sizes.  Life-size, 
upon  life-size  figures,  the  drops  of  sweat  were  seen  upon  the 
apathetic  faces,  and  the  patches  upon  the  blouses  and  breeches. 
Any  one  who  only  reckons  as  art  what  is  fine  and  delicate 
will  necessarily  find  these  pictures  brutal  ;  but  whoever  delights 
in  seeing  art  in  close  connection  with  the  age,  as  it  really  is, 
cannot  deny  to  Alfred  Roll's  great  epics  of  labour  the  value  of 
artistic  documents  of  the  first  rank. 

He   devoted  himself  to  the  more  delicate  problems  of  light, 


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especially  in  certain 
idyllic  summer 
scenes,  in  which  he 
delighted  in  painting 
life-size  bulls  and 
cows  upon  the 
meadow,  and  beside 
them  a  girl,  some- 
times intended  as  a 
milkmaid  and  some- 
times as  a  nymph. 
Of  this  type  was  the 
picture  of  1888,  "A 
Woman  who  has 
milked  a  Cow'* 
{Manda  Lamitriey 
Fermiere).  With  a 
full  pail  she  is  going 
home  across  the 
sunny  meadow. 
Around  there  is  a 
gentle  play  of  light,  a  soft  atmosphere  transmitting  faint  reflec- 
tions, lightly  resting  upon  all  forms,  and  mildly  shed  around  them. 
A  yet  more  subtile  study  of  light  in  1889  was  named  "The 
Woman  with  a  Bull."  Pale  sunbeams  are  rippling  through  the 
fluttering  leaves,  causing  a  delicious  play  of  fine  tones  upon 
the  nude  body  of  a  young  woman  and  the  shining  hide  of  a  bull. 
In  a  strip  of  ground  in  the  suburbs  of  Paris,  where  the 
town  has  come  to  an  end  and  the  country  has  not  yet  begun, 
Raffaelliy  perhaps  the  most  spirited  of  the  Naturalists,  has  taken 
up  his  abode.  He  has  painted  the  workman,  the  vagabond, 
the  restlessness  of  the  man  who  does  not  know  where  he  is 
going  to  eat  and  sleep ;  the  small  householder,  who  has  all 
he  wants ;  the  ruined  man,  overtaken  by  misfortune,  whose 
only  remaining  passion  is  the  brandy-bottle, — he  has  painted 
them  all  amid  the  melancholy  landscape  around  Paris,  with  its 
meagre  region  still  in  embryo,  and  its  great  straight  roads  losing 


Paris:  Boussod-Valadon."] 

Rafeaelli  :   "  The  Grandfather." 
(By  permission  of  the  Ariisi.) 


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themselves  disconsolately 
in  the  horizon.  Th^ophile 
Gautier  has  written  some- 
where that  the  geometri- 
cians are  the  ruination  of 
landscapes.  If  he  lived  in 
these  days  he  would  find, 
on  the  contrary,  that  those 
monotonous  roads  running 
straight  as  a  die  give  land- 
scape a  strange  and  melan- 
choly  grandeur.  One 
thinks  of  the  passage  in 
Zola's  Germincdy  where  the 
two  socialists,  Etienne  and 
Suwarin,  walk  in  the  even- 
ing silently  along  the  edge 
of  a  canal,  which,  with  the 
perpendicular  stems  of 
trees  at  its  side,  stretches 
for  miles,  as  if  measured  with  a  pair,  of  compasses,  through  a 
monotonous  flat  landscape.  Only  a  few  low  houses  standing 
apart  break  the  straight  line  of  the  horizon ;  only  here  and  there, 
in  the  distance,  does  there  emei^e  a  human  being,  whose 
diminished  figure  is  scarcely  perceptible  above  the  ground. 
RafTaelli  was  the  first  to  understand  the  virginal  beauty  of  these 
localities,  the  dumb  complaining  language  of  poverty-stricken 
regions  spreading  languidly  beneath  a  dreary  sky.  He  is  the 
painter  of  poor  people  and  of  wide  horizons,  the  poet  and 
historian  of  humanity  living  in  the  neighbourhood  of  great 
cities.  There  sits  a  house-owner,  or  the  proprietor  of  a  shop, 
in  front  of  his  own  door;  there  a  peddler,  or  a  man  delivering 
parcels,  hurries  across  the  field  ;  there  a  rag-picker's  dog  strays 
hungry  about  a  lonely  farmyard.  Sometimes  the  wide  land- 
scapes are  relieved  by  the  manufactories,  water-  and  gas-works 
which  feed  the  huge  crater  of  Paris.  At  other  times  the  snow 
lies    on    the    ground,    the  skeletons    of   trees  stand    along    the 


Paris:  BascheL] 

Raffaelli  :    "  Paris  4*  I." 
(By  permission  of  tks  Artist.) 


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high-road,  and  a 
driver  shouts  to  his 
team ;  the  heavy 
working  nags, 
covered  with  worsted 
cloths,  shiver,  and 
an  impression  of  in- 
tense cold  goes 
through  you  to  your 
very  bones.  Indeed 
Raffaelli's  austerity 
was  first  subdued 
a  little  when  he 
came  to  make  a 
lengthy  residence  in 
England.  Then  he 
acquired  a  prefer- 
ence for  the  light- 
coloured  atmosphere 
and  the  gracious 
verdure  of  nature  in 
England.  He  began 
to  take  pleasure  in 
tender  spring  landscapes,  in  place  of  rigid  scenes  of  snow.  The 
poor  soil  no  longer  seems  so  hard  and  inhospitable,  but  becomes 
attractive  beneath  the  soft,  peaceful,  bluish  atmosphere.  Even 
the  uncivilized  beings,  with  famine  in  their  eyes,  who  wandered 
about  in  his  earliest  pictures,  become  milder  and  more  resigned. 
The  grandfather,  in  his  blouse  and  wooden  shoes,  leads  his 
grandchild  by  the  hand  amid  the  first  shyly  budding  verdure. 
Old  men  sit  quietly  in  the  grounds  of  the  almshouse,  with  the 
sun  shining  upon  them.  People  no  longer  stand  in  the  mist 
of  November  evenings  with  their  teeth  chattering  from  the 
frost,  but  breathe  with  delight  the  soft  air  of  bright  spring 
mornings. 

Raffaelli  has  been  for  fifteen  years  the  master  of  this  narrowly 
circumscribed  region,  and  has  recorded   his  impressions  of  it  in 


Paris:  Bous^od-ValadoH.] 

Raffaelli  :   "  The  Old  Convalescents." 
{By  ptrmitsioH  oftht  Artist.) 


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an  entirely  personal  manner, 
in  a  style  which  in  one  of 
his  brochures  he  has  himself 
designated  "  caracterisme." 
And  by  comparing  the  cos- 
tumed models  in  the  pictures 
of  the  previous  generation 
with  the  figures  of  Raffaelli, 
the  happiness  of  this  phrase 
is  at  once  understood.  In 
fact  Raffaelli  is  a  great 
master  of  characterization, 
and  perhaps  nowhere  more 
trenchant  than  in  the 
illustrations  which  he  drew 
for  the  Revue  Illustrie, 
Spirited  caricatures  of 
theatrical  representations  al- 
ternate with  the  grotesque 
figures  of  the  Salvation 
Army.  Yet  he  feels  most 
in  his  element  when  he  dives  into  the  horrors  of  Paris  by  night 
The  types  which  he  has  created  live ;  they  meet  you  at  every 
step,  wander  about  the  boulevards,  in  the  caf6s  and  outside 
the  barriers,  and  they  haunt  you  with  their  looks  of  misery,  vice, 
and  menace. 

Giuseppe  de  Ntttis,  an  Italian  who  has  become  a  Parisian, 
a  bold,  searching,  nervously  excitable  spirit,  was  the  first 
gentiifiomfne  of  Impressionism,  the  first  who  made  a  transition 
from  the  rugged  painting  of  the  proletariat  to  coquettish  pictures 
from  the  fashionable  quarters  of  the  city,  and  reconciled  even 
the  wider  public  to  the  principles  of  Impressionism  by  the  delicate 
flavouring  of  his  works. 

"It  was  a  cold  November  morning.  Cold  it  was  certainly, 
but  in  compensation  the  morning  vapour  was  as  fine  as  snow 
turned  into  mist.  Yonder  in  the  crowded,  populous,  sooty 
quarters  of  the  city,  in    Paris   busy   with    trade    and    industry. 


GoM.  dts  Bta%iX'Art&.\  [Artist  tc* 

Raffaelu  :   "  The  Midday  Soup.** 

(By  permission  of  the  Artiste) 


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^^ 


CojB.  d«9  Beaux- Arts.] 

Giuseppe  de  Nittis. 


this  early  vapour  which  settles  in 
the  broad  streets  is  not  to  be 
found ;  the  hurry  of  awakening 
life,  and  the  confused  movement 
of  country  carts,  omnibuses,  and 
heavy,  rattling  freight  -  waggons, 
have  scattered,  divided,  and  dis- 
persed it  too  quickly.  Every 
passer-by  bears  it  away  on  his 
shabby  overcoat,  on  his  threadbare 
comforter,  or  disperses  it  with  his 
baggy  gloves.  It  drizzles  in  the 
shivering  blouses  and  the  water- 
proofs of  toiling  poverty,  it  dissolves 
before  the  hot  breath  of  the  many 

who  have  passed  a  sleepless  or  dissipated  night,  it  is  absorbed 
by  the  hungry,  it  penetrates  into  shops  which  have  just  been 
opened,  into  gloomy  backyards,  and  it  floats  up  the  staircases, 
dripping  on  the  walls  and  banisters,  right  up  to  the  frozen 
attics.  And  that  is  the  reason  why  so  little  of  it  remains  out- 
side. But  in  the  spacious  and  stately  quarter  of  Paris,  upon  the 
broad  boulevards  planted  with  trees  and  the  empty  quays,  the 
mist  lay  undisturbed,  section  over  section,  like  an  undulating 
mass  of  transparent  wool  in  which  one  felt  isolated,  hidden, 
almost  imbedded  in  splendour,  for  the  sun  rising  lazily  on  the 
distant  horizon  already  shed  a  mild  purple  glow,  and  in  this  light 
the  mist  level  with  the  tops  of  the  houses  shone  like  a  piece  of 
muslin  spread  over  scarlet." 

This  opening  passage  in  Daudet's  Le  Naiad  most  readily 
gives  the  mood  awakened  by  Giuseppe  de  Nittis*  Parisian  land- 
scapes. De  Nittis  was  born  in  1846  at  Barletta,  near  Naples, 
in  poor  circumstances.  In  1868,  when  he  was  two-and-twenty 
years  of  age,  he  came  to  Paris,  where  G6r6me  and  Meissonier 
interested  themselves  in  him.  Intercourse  with  Manet  led  him 
to  his  range  of  subject.  He  became  the  painter  of  Parisian 
street-life  as  it  is  to  be  seen  in  the  neighbourhood  of  the  quays, 
the  painter  of  mist,  smoke,  and  air.     The  Salons  of  1875  ^ind  1876 


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contained  his  first  pictures, 
the     "Place     des     Pyra- 
mides  "  and  the  view  of  the 
Pont  Royal,   fine  studies 
of  mist  with  a  tremulous 
grey  atmosphere,  out    of 
which  graceful  little  figures 
raise  their  faint,  vanishing 
outlines.     From  that  time 
he  has  stood  at  the  centre 
of   artistic    life    in    Paris. 
He  observed    everything, 
saw    everything,    painted 
everything — a  strip  of  the 
boulevards,  the   Place  du 
Carrousel,    the    Bois     de 
Boulogne,   the   races,  the 
Champs    Elys^es,    in    the 
daytime  with  the  budding 
chestnuts,  the  flower-beds 
blooming    in    all    colours, 
the  playing  fountains,  the 
women     of     grace     and 
beauty,    and     the     light 
carriages     which      crowd 
between      the      Arc      de 
Triomphe,  the  Obelisk,  and  the  Gardens  of  the  Tuileries,  and  in 
the   evening   when    chains    of   white   and    coloured    lights   flash 
through  the  dark  trees.     De  Nittis  has  interpreted  all  atmospheric 
phases.      He  seized  the  intangible,  the   vibration  of  vapour,  the 
dust  of  summer  and  the  rains  of  December  days.     He  breathed 
the  atmosphere,  as  it  were,  with  his  eyes,  and  felt  with  accuracy 
its  greater  or   diminished  density.      The  great  public  he  gained 
by   his    exquisite    sense    of    feminine    elegance.      Of   marvellous 
charm    are   the   figures  which   give   animation   to  the    Place   des 
Pyramides,  the   Place   du    Carrousel,  the   Quai   du    Pont   Neuf— 
women   in  the  most  coquettish  toilettes,  men    chatting   together 


Gan,  d98  Beaux-Arts.] 
De  Nittis: 


[Dujardin  htlio. 
"Paris  Races." 


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De  Nittis:   "The  Place  du  Carrousel." 

as  they  lean  against  a  newspaper  kiosk,  flower-girls  offering 
bouquets,  loiterers  carelessly  turning  over  the  books  exposed 
for  sale  upon  a  stall,  bonnes  with  short  petticoats  and  broad 
ribbons,  smart-looking  boys  with  hoops,  and  little  girls  with 
the  air  of  great  ladies.  Since  Gabriel  de  Saint  Aubin,  Paris 
has  had  no  more  faithful  observer.  "  De  Nittis,"  said  Claretie 
in  1 876,  "  paints  modern  French  life  for  us  as  that  brilliant 
Italian,  the  Abb^  Galliani,  spoke  the  French  language — that  is 
to  say,  better  than  we  do  it  ourselves." 

The  summit  of  his  ability  was  reached  in  his  last  pictures 
from  England.  One  knows  the  London  fogs  of  November, 
which  hover  over  the  town  as  black  as  night,  so  that  the  gas 
has  to  be  lit  at  noon,  fogs  which  are  suffocating  and  shroud 
the  nearest  houses  in  a  veil  of  crape.  Scenes  like  this  were 
made  for  De  Nittis'  brush.  He  roamed  about  in  the  smoke  of 
the  city,  observed  the  fashion  of  the  season,  the  confusion  of 
cabs  and  drays  upon  London  Bridge,  the  surge  and  hurry 
VOL.  iiu  4 


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Paris:  Boussod-Valadon.'^ 


Heilbuth  :   "  In  the  Grass/ 


of  the  human  stream  in  Cannon  Street,  the  vast  panorama  of 
the  port  of  London  veiled  with  smoke  and  fog,  the  fashionable 
West  End  with  its  magnificent  clubs,  the  green,  quiet  squares 
and  great  plainly  built  mansions ;  he  studied  the  dense,  smoky 
atmosphere  of  fog  compressed  into  floating  phantom  shapes, 
the  remarkable  effects  of  light  seen  when  a  fresh  breeze 
suddenly  drives  the  black  clouds  away.  And  again  his  eye 
adapted  itself  at  once  to  the  novel  environment.  It  was  not 
merely  the  blithe  splendour  of  Paris  that  found  an  incomparable 
painter  in  Giuseppe  de  Nittis,  but  London  also  with  its  thick 
atmosphere  and  that  mixture  of  damp,  tawny  fog  and  grey 
smoke.  Piccadilly,  the  National  Gallery,  the  railway  arch  at 
Charing  Cross,  the  Green  Park,  the  Bank,  and  Trafalgar  Square 
are  varied  samples  of  these  English  studies,  which  showed  British 
painters  themselves  that  not  one  of  them  had  understood  the 
foggy  atmosphere  of  London  as  this  tourist  who  was  merely 
travelling  through  the  town.    "Westminster"  and  "Cannon  Street," 


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a  pair  of  dreary, 
sombre  symphonies 
in  ash-grey,  perhaps 
display  the  highest 
of  what  De  Nittis 
has  achieved  in  the 
painting  of  air. 

Born  in  Ham- 
burg, though  a  natur- 
alized Frenchman, 
Ferdinand  Heilbuth 
took  up  again  the 
cult  of  the  Paris- 
ienne  in  the  wake  of 
Stevens,  and  as  he 
turned  the  acqui- 
sitions of  Impres- 
sionism to  account 
in  an  exceedingly 
pleasing  manner, 
he  seems,  in  com- 
parison with  Stevens,  lighter  and  more  vaporous  and  gracious. 
He  painted  water-scenes,  scenes  on  the  greensward  or  in  the 
entrance  squares  of  chiteaux,  placing  in  these  landscapes  girls 
in  fashionable  summer  toilette.  He  was  particularly  fond  of 
representing  them  in  a  white  hat,  a  white  or  pearl-grey  dress 
with  a  black  belt  and  long  black  gloves,  in  front  of  a  bright 
grey  stream,  seated  upon  a  fallen  trunk,  against  which  their 
parasol  is  resting.  The  bloom  of  the  atmosphere  is  harmonized 
in  the  very  finest  chords  with  the  virginal  white  of  their  dresses 
and  the  fresh  verdure  of  the  landscapes.  His  pictures  are  little 
Watteaus  of  the  nineteenth  century,  as  discreet  in  effect  as  they 
are  piquant. 

After  Heilbuth's  death  Albert  Aublet,  who  in  earlier  days 
depicted  sanguinary  historical  pieces,  became  the  popular  painter 
of  girls,  whose  beauties  are  gracefully  interpreted  in  his  pictures. 
When   he    paints   the   composer    Massenet,  sitting   at    the  piano 


Paris:  BoHssod-Vala^oH,Z 

'  Aublet:  "Studying  the  Score.* 
.  (By  permissiOM  of-  tht  Artist) 


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UArt.-\ 


\E.  ChampoUion  sc» 


BuTiN  :   "  The  Departure/ 


surrounded  by  flowers  and  beautiful  women — when  he  represents 
the  doings  of  the  fashionable  world  on  the  shore  at  a  popular 
watering-place,  or  young  ladies  plucking  roses,  or  wandering 
meditatively  in  bright  dresses  amid  green  shrubs  and  yellow 
flowers,  or  going  into  the  sea  in  white  bathing-gowns,  there 
may  be  nothing  profound  or  particularly  artistic  in  it  all,  but  it 
is  none  the  less  charming,  attractive,  bright,  joyous,  and  fresh. 

/ean  B/raud,  another  interpreter  of  Parisian  elegance,  has 
found  material  for  numerous  pictures  in  the  blaze  of  the  theatres, 
the  naked  shoulders  of  ballet-girls,  the  dress-coats  of  old  gentle- 
men, the  evening  humour  of  the  boulevards,  the  mysteries  of  the 
Caf6  Anglais,  the  bustle  of  Monte  Carlo,  and  the  footlights  of 
the  Cafe-Concert.  But  absolute  painter  he  is  not.  One  would 
prefer  to  have  a  less  oily  heaviness  in  his  works,  a  bolder  and 
freer  execution  more  in  keeping  with  the  lightness  of  the  subject, 
and  for  this  one  would  willingly  surrender  the  touches  of  ^enre 
which  B6raud  cannot  let  alone  even  in  these  days.  But  his 
illustrations  are  exceedingly  spirited. 

It    would    be    impossible   to    classify    painters    according   to 


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L'Art.] 


[DufMpxt.. 


Ulysse  Butin. 


further  specialities.  In  fact  it 
is  as  little  possible  to  bring 
individuals  into  categories  as  it 
was  at  the  time  of  the  Renais- 
sance, when  the  painter  busied 
himself  at  the  same  time  with 
sculpture,  architecture,  and  the 
artistic  crafts.  Great  artists  do 
not  wall  themselves  up  in  a 
narrow  space  to  be  studied. 
Liberated  from  the  studio  and 
restored  to  nature,  they  en- 
deavour, as  in  the  best  periods 
of  art,  to  encompass  life  as 
widely  as  possible.  A  mere 
enumeration,  such  as  chance  offers,  and  such  as  will  preserve 
a  sense  for  the  individuality  of  every  man's  talent  without  at- 
tempting comparisons,  seems  therefore  a  better  method  to  pursue 
than  a  systematic  grouping  which  could  only  be  attained 
artificially  and  by  ambiguities. 

The  late  Ulysse  Butin  settled  down  on  the  shore  of  the 
Channel  and  painted  the  life  of  the  fishermen  of  Villerville,  a 
little  spot  upon  the  coast  near  Honfleur.  Sturdy,  large-boned 
fellows  drag  their  nets  across  the  strand,  carry  heavy  anchors 
home,  or  lie  smoking  upon  the  dunes.  The  rays  of  the  evening 
sun  play  upon  their  clothes  ;  the  night  sinks,  and  a  {>rofound 
silence  rests  upon  the  landscape. 

By  preference  Edouard  Dantan  has  painted  the  interiors  of 
sculptors'  studios — men  turning  pots,  casting  plaster,  or  working 
on  marble,  with  grey  blouses,  contrasting  delicately  with  the 
light  grey  walls  of  workrooms  which  are  themselves  flooded  with 
bright  and  tender  light  Very  charming  was  "A  Plaster-Cast 
from  Nature,"  painted  in  1887 :  in  the  centre  was  a  nude 
feminine  figure  most  naturally  posed,  whilst  a  fine,  even  atmo- 
sphere, which  lay  softly  upon  the  girl's  form,  streaming  gently 
over  it,  was  shed  around 

Having  cultivated  in  the  beginning  the  province  of  feminine 


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MODERN  FAINTING 


nudity  with  little 
success,  in  such 
pictures  as  "  The 
Bacchante  **  of  the 
Luxembourg,  "  The 
Woman  with  the 
Mask,"  and  "Rolla," 
Henri  Gervex^  the 
spoilt  child  of  con- 
temporary French 
painting,  turned  to 
the  lecture-rooms  of 
the  universities,  and 
by  his  picture  of 
Dr.  P6an  at  La 
Salp^tri^re  gave  the 
impulse  to  the  many 
hospital  pictures,  sur- 
gical operations,  and 
so  forth  which  have 
since  inundated  the 
Salon.  With  the  upper  part  of  her  body  laid  bare  and  her 
lips  half-opened,  the  patient  lies  under  the  influence  of  narcotics, 
whilst  Plan's  assistant  is  counting  her  pulse.  His  audience  have 
gathered  round.  The  light  falls  clear  and  peacefully  into  the 
room.  Everything  is  rendered  simply,  without  diffidence,  and 
with  confidence  and  quietude. 

Duez^  when  he  had  had  his  first  success  in  1879  with  a 
large  religious  picture— the  triptych  in  the  Luxembourg  of  Saint 
Cuthbert — appeared  with  animal  pictures,  landscapes,  portraits,  or 
fashionable  representations  of  life  in  the  streets  and  caf6s.  In 
the  hands  of  such  mild  and  complacent  spirits  as  Friant  and 
Goeneutte,  Naturalism  fell  into  a  mincing,  lachrymose  condition ; 
but  in  a  series  of  quiet,  unpretentious  pictures  Dagnan-Bauveret 
was  more  successful  in  meeting  the  growing  inclination  of 
recent  years  for  contemplative  repose,  just  as  in  the  province 
of   literature   Ohnet,   Malot,   and    Claretie,   with    their    spirit    of 


Paris:  Boussod-Valadon."] 

Dantan  :  "  A  Plaster-Cast  from  Nature.' 


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compromise,  came 
after  those  stern 
naturalists  Flaubert 
and  Zola.  Accord- 
ing to  the  drawing 
of  Paul  Renouard, 
Dagnan-Bouveret  is 
a  little,  black-haired 
man  with  a  dark 
complexion  and 
deep  -  set  eyes,  a 
short  blunt  nose, 
and  a  black  pointed 
beard.  There  is 
nothing  in  him 
which  betrays  spirit, 
caprice,  and  audac- 
ity, but  everything 
which  is  an  indica- 
tion of  patience  and 
endurance ;  and,  as 
a  matter  of  fact,  such 
are  the  qualities  by 
which  he  has  gained  his  high  position.  He  is  a  man  of  poetic 
talent,  though  rather  tame,  and  stands  to  Bastien-Lepage  and  Roll 
as  Breton  to  Millet.  One  often  fancies  that  it  is  possible  to 
observe  in  him  that  German  Gemiith^  that  genial  temper,  for  the 
satisfaction  of  which  Frau  Marlitt  provided  in  fiction.  A  pupil 
of  Gerdme,  he  made  his  first  great  success  in  the  Salon  of  1879 
with  the  picture  "  A  Wedding  at  the  Photographer's."  This 
was  succeeded  in  1882  by  "The  Nuptial  Benediction;"  in  i88j 
by  "The  Vaccination;"  in  1884  by  "The  Horse-pond"  of  the 
Mus^e  Luxembourg;  in  1885  by  a  "Blessed  Virgin,"  a  homely,, 
thoughtful,  and  delicately  coloured  picture  which  gained  him 
many  admirers  in  Germany;  and  in  1886  by  "The  Consecrated 
Bread,"  in  which  he  was  one  of  the  first  to  take  up  the  study 
of  light   in   interiors.       In   a   Catholic   church    there   are   sitting 


Ga».  d€s  B§aMx-Arts.]  [Du/ardut  Mio. 

Gervex  :   "  Dr.  Pean  at  La  SALpiTRiBRE.** 
(By  permission  oj  ikt  Ariisl.) 


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MODERN  PAINTING 


devout  women — most  of 
them  old,  but  also  one 
who  is  young — and  chil- 
dren, while  a  chorister 
is  handing  them  conse- 
crated bread.  This  simple 
scene  in  the  damp  village 
church,  filled  with  a  tender 
gloom,  is  rendered  with  a 
winning  homely  plainness, 
and  with  that  touch  of 
compassionate  sentiment- 
ality which  is  the  peculiar 
note  of  Ds^nan-Bouveret. 
The  "  Bretonnes  au  Par- 
don "  of  1889  thoroughly 
displayed  this  definitive 
Dagnan  :  a  soft,  peaceful 
picture,  full  of  simple  and 
cordial  poetry.  In  the 
grass  behind  the  church,  the  plain  spire  of  which  rises  at  the 
end  of  a  wall,  women  are  sitting,  both  young  and  old,  in  black 
dresses  and  white  caps.  One  of  them  is  reading  a  prayer  from 
a  devotional  book.  The  rest  are  listening.  Two  men  stand  at 
the  side.  Everything  is  at  peace ;  the  scheme  of  colour  is  soft 
and  quiet,  while  in  the  execution  there  is  something  recalling 
Holbein,  and  the  effect  is  idyllically  moving,  like  the  chime  of 
a  village  bell  when  the  sun  is  going  down. 

The  zeal  with  which  painters  took  up  the  study  of  contem- 
porary life,  so  long  neglected,  did  not,  however,  prevent  the 
quality  of  French  landscape-painting  from  being  exceedingly 
high.  New  parts  of  the  world  were  no  longer  to  be  conquered. 
For  fifteen  years  none  of  the  nobler,  nor  of  the  less  noble, 
landscapes  of  France  had  been  neglected,  nor  any  strip  of  field ; 
there  were  no  flowers  that  were  not  plucked,  whether  they  were 
cultivated  in  forcing-houses  or  had  sprung  pallid  in  a  dark 
garden  of  old  Paris.     It  was  only  the  joy  in  brightness  and  the 


LAri.^ 


DuEz: 


[£.  Champolliwt  sc, 
'Om  the  Cuff." 


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UAri,^ 


DuEz:  "The  End  of  October." 
{By  permistiion  of  the  Artist,) 


[F.  Miliua  se. 


newly  discovered  beauty  of  sunshine  that  brought  with  them 
any  change  of  material.  Following  the  Impressionists,  the  land- 
scape-painters deserted  their  forests.  Those  "woodland  depths/' 
such  as  Diaz  and  Rousseau  painted,  seldom  appear  in  the  works 
of  the  most  modern  artists.  In  opposition  the  severest  to  such 
once  popular  scenes,  there  lies  the  plain,  the  wide  expanse 
stretching  forth  like  a  carpet  in  bright,  shining  tones  under  the 
play  of  tremulous  sunbeams,  and  scarcely  do  a  few  trees  break 
the  quiet  line  of  the  distant  horizon.  At  first  the  poorest  and 
most  humble  comers  were  preferred  The  painting  of  the  poor 
brought  even  the  most  forlorn  regions  into  fashion.  Later,  in 
landscape  also,  a  bent  towards  the  most  tender  lyricism  corre- 
sponded with  that  inclination  to  idyllic  sentiment  which  was  on 
the  increase  in  figure-painting.  These  painters  have  a  peculiar 
joy  in  the  fresh  mood  of  morning,  when  a  light  vapour  wavers 
over  the  meadows  and  the  waters,  before  it  is  dissolved  into 
shining  dew.  They  love  the  blooming  fruit-trees  and  the  first 
smile  of  spring,  or  revel  in  the  gradations  of  the  dusk,  rich  as 
they  are  in  shades  of  tint,  mistily  wan  and  grey,  pale  lilac, 
delicate-  green,  and  milky  blue.     The  perspective  is  broad  and 


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fine  ;  objects  are  entirely 
absorbed  by  the  harmony 
of  colour,  and  the  older 
and  coarser  treatment  of 
free  light  heightened  to 
the  most  refined  play 
by  the  most  delicate 
shades  of  hue.  And  these 
colourists  deriving  from 
Corot,  with  their  soft  grey 
enveloping  all,  are  opposed 
by  others  who  strike  novel 
and  higher  chords  upon 
the  keyboard  of  Manet- 
landscape-painters  whom 
such  simple  and  intimate 
things  do  not  satisfy, 
but  who  search  after  un- 
expected, fleeting,  and 
extraordinary  impressions, 
analyzing  fantastically  combined  effects  of  light 

A  group  of  New-Impressionists>  who  might  be  called 
prismatic  painters,  stand  in  this  respect  at  the  extreme  left 
Starting  from  the  conviction  that  the  traditional  mixing  of 
colours  upon  the  pallet  results  after  all  only  in  pallet-tones,  and 
can  never  fully  express  the  intensity  and  pulsating  vividness  of 
tone  values,  they  founded  the  theory  of  the  resolution  of  tones — 
in  other  words,  they  break  up  all  compound  colours  into  their 
primary  hues,  set  these  directly  upon  the  canvas,  and  leave  it 
to  the  eye  of  the  spectator  to  undertake  the  mixture  for  itself. 
In  particular  George  Seurat  was  an  energetic  disseminator  of 
this  painting  in  points  which  excited  new  discussions  amongst 
artists  and  new  polemics  in  the  newspapers.  His  pictures  were 
entirely  composed  of  flaming,  glowing,  and  shining  patches. 
Close  to  these  pictures  nothing  was  to  be  seen  but  a  confusion 
of  blotches,  but  at  the  proper  distance  they  took  shape  as  wild 
sea-studies  in  the  brilliant  hues  of  noon,  with  rocks  and  stones 


LAfi.\  {Salmon  ac. 

Dagnan-Bouveret  :   '*  Consecrated  Bread." 


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franx:e 


sr 


LAH.^  [J.  Pttyplat  sc. 

Dagnan-Bouveret  :  "  Bretonnes  au  Pardon." 

(By  penntasiott  of  tht  Artisf„) 


'  Standing  out  in  relief, 
orgies  of  blue,  red, 
and  violet  Such 
was  Seurat's  manner 
of  seeing  nature. 
That  such  a  course 
brings  with  it  a  good 
deal  of  monotony, 
that  it  will  hardly 
ever  be  possible  to 
quicken  art  to  this 
extent  with  science, 
is  incontestable. 
But  it  is  just  as  cer- 
tain that  Seurat  was 
a  painter  of  distinc- 
tion who  shows  in  many  of  his  pictures  a  fine  sense  for  delicate, 
pale  atmosphere.  Many  of  his  landscapes,  which  at  close  quarters 
look  like  mosaics  of  small,  smooth,  variously  coloured  stones, 
acquire  a  vibrating  light  such  as  Monet  himself  did  not  attain 
when  looked  at  .  from  a  proper  distance.  Signac^  Anquetitty 
Angrandy  and  Lucien  Pissarro  are  the  names  of  the  other  repre- 
sentatives of  this  scientific  painting,  and  their  method  has  not 
seldom  enabled  them  to  give  expression  in  an  overpowering 
manner  to  the  quiet  of  water  and  sky,  the  green  of  the  meadows 
and  the  softness  of  tender  light  shifting  over  the  sea. 

Amongst  the  younger  painters  exhibiting  in  the  Salon, 
/^^/«/^//«— without  any  trace  of  imitation — perhaps  comes  nearest 
to  the  tender  poetry  of  Corot,  and  has  with  most  subtilty 
interpreted  the  delicate  charm  of  cold  moods  of  morning,  the 
deep  feeling  of  still  solitude  in  a  wide  expanse.  Jan  Monchablon 
views  the  meadow  and  the  grass,  the  blades  and  variegated 
flowers  of  the  field,  with  the  eyes  of  a  primitive  artist  Wide 
stretches  of  rolling  ground  upon  radiant  spring  days  are  usually 
to  be  seen  in  his  pictures.  The  sun  shines,  the  grass  sparkles, 
and  the  horizon  spreads  boundless  around.  In  the  background 
cows   are   grazing,   or   there   move   small   figures   bathed   in   air. 


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MODERN  PAINTING 


GoM.  diM  Btaux-Arta.l  {F.  Miliu»  sc, 

Dagnan-Bouveret  :  "  The  Nuptial  BENEDicribN.** 

iBy  permission  of  Messrs,  Boussod,  Vuladon  cS*  Co.,  ths  owners  of  iht  copyright.) 

whilst  a  dreamy  rivulet  murmurs  in  the  foreground.  The 
bright,  soft  light  of  Provence  is  the  delight  of  Montenard,  and 
he  depicts  with  delicacy  this  landscape  with  its  bright,  rosy 
hills,  its  azure  sky,  and  its  pale  underwood.  Light,  as  he  sees 
it,  has  neither  motes  nor  shadows ;  its  vibration  is  so  intense 
and  fine  that  it  fills  the  air  with  liquid  gold,  and  absorbs  the 
tints  of  objects,  wrapping  them  in  a  soft  and  mystic  golden  veil. 

Dauphin^  who  is  nearly  allied  with  him,  always  remains  a 
colourist  His  painting  is  more  animated,  provocative,  and 
blooming,  especially  in  those  sea-pieces  with  their  bright  har- 
bours, glittering  waves,  and  rocking  ships,  whose  sails  have  a 
coquettish  sparkle  in  the  sunshine.  The  name  of  Rosset-Granget 
recalls  festal  evenings,  bright  houses  vivid  with  the  glow  of 
lights  and  fireworks,  or  the  gleam  of  red  lanterns  illuminating 
the  dark  blue  firmament,  and  reflected  by  a  thousand  fine  tints 
in  the  sea. 

The    melancholy  art  of   Entile  Barau^  a   thoroughly    rustic 


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FRANCE  53 

painter,  who  renders  picturesque  corners  of  little  villages  with 
an  extremely  personal  accent,  stands  in  contrast  with  the  blithe 
painting  of  the  devotees  of  light ;  it  is  not  the  splendour  of 
colour  that  attracts  him,  but  the  dun  hues  of  dying  nature.  He 
has  come  to  a  halt  immediately  in  front  of  Paris,  in  the  square 
before  the  church  of  Creile.  He  knows  the  loneliness  of  village 
streets  when  the  people  are  at  work  in  the  fields,  and  the  houses 
give  a  feeling  that  their  inhabitants  are  not  far  off  and  may 
return  at  any  moment.  His  pictures  are  harmonies  in  grey.  The 
leading  elements  in  his  works  are  the  pale  light  lying  upon 
colourless  autumn  sward,  the  mournful  outlines  of  leafless  trees 
stretching  their  naked  boughs  into  the  air  as  though  complaining, 
small  still  ponds  where  ducks  are  paddling,  the  scanty  green 
of  meagre  gardens,  the  muddy  water  of  old  canals,  reddish-grey 
roofs  and  narrow  little  streets  amid  moss-covered  hills,  tall 
poplars  and  willows  by  the  side  of  swampy  ditches,  and  in 
the  background  the  old  village  steeple,  which  is  scarcely  ever 
absent.  Danioye^  likewise,  is  fond  of  twilight,  and  autumn 
and  winter  evenings.  He  is  the  poet  of  the  great  plains  and 
dunes  and  the  sombre  heaven,  where  isolated  sunbeams  break 
shyly  from  behind  white  clouds.  A  fine  sea-painter,  Boudifty 
studies  in  Etretat,  Trouville,  Saint  Valery,  Crotoy,  and  Berck 
the  dunes  and  the  misty  sky,  spreading  in  cold  northern  grey 
across  the  silent  sea.  Dumoulin  paints  night  landscapes  with 
deep  blue  shadows  and  bright  blue  lights,  while  Albert  Lebourg 
has  a  passion  for  the  grey  of  rain  and  the  glittering  snow 
which  gleams  in  the  light,  blue  in  one  place,  violet  and  rosy  in 
another.  Victor  Binet  and  Rirti  Billotte  have  devoted  themselves 
to  the  study  of  that  poor  region,  still  in  embryo,  which  lies 
around  Paris,  a  region  where  a  delicate  observer  finds  so  much 
that  is  pictorial  and  so  much  hidden  poetry.  Binet  is  so 
delicate  that  everything  grows  nobler  beneath  his  brush.  He 
specially  loves  to  paint  the  poetry  of  twilight,  which  softens 
forms  and  tinges  the  trees  with  a  greyish  green,  the  quiet, 
monotonous  plains,  where  tiny  field-paths  lose  themselves  in 
mysterious  horizons,  expiring  light  of  the  autumn  sun  playing 
with    the    fallen    yellow    leaves    upon    dusty    highways.      R6n6 


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Billotte's  life' is  exceed- 
ingly many-sided.  In 
the  forenoon  he  is  an 
important  ministerial 
official,  in  the  evening 
the  polished  man  of 
society  in  dress-clothes 
and  white  tie  whom 
Carolus  Duran  painted. 
Of  an  afternoon,  in 
the  hours  of  dusk  and 
moonrise,  he  roams  as 
a  landscape-painter  in 
the  suburbs  of  Paris : 
he  is  an  exceedingly 
accomplished  man  of 
the  world,  who  only 
speaks  in  a  low  tone, 
and  what  he  specially 
loves  in  nature,  too,  is 
the  hour  when  moonlight  lies  gently  and  delicately  over  all 
forms.  The  scenes  he  usually  chooses  are  a  quarry  with  light 
mist  settling  over  it,  a  light-coloured  cornfield  in  a  bluish  dusk, 
a  meadow  bathed  in  pale  light,  or  a  strip  of  the  seashore  where 
the  delicate  air  is  impregnated  with  moisture. 

To  be  at  once  refined  and  true  is  the  aim  which  portrait- 
painting  in  recent  years  has  also  specially  set  itself  to  reach. 
In  the  years  of  chic  it  started  with  the  endeavour  to  win 
from  every  personality  its  beauties,  to  paint  men  and  women 
"  to  advantage  ; "  but  ,  later,  when  the  Naturalism  of  Bastien- 
Lepage  stood  at  its  zenith,  it  strove  at  all  costs  to  seize  the 
actual  human  being,  to  catch,  as  it  were,  the  workaday  char- 
acter of  the  personality,  as  it  is  in  involuntary  moments  when 
people  believe  themselves  to  be  unobserved  and  give  up  posing. 
The  place  of  those  pompous  arrangements  of  the  painters  of 
material  was  taken  by  a  soul,  and  temperament  interpreted  by 
an  intelligence.     And  corresponding  with  the  universal  principle 


LuciEN  PissARRO  :  "Soutude"  (Woodcut). 

(fly  permission  of  ths  proprigtors  of  th$  Dial,  ths  ovmers  of 
ths  copyright.) 


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LuciEN  PissARRo:    "Ruth"  (Woodcut). 

(By  permission  of  Messrs,  Hacon  and  Rickgt/s,  tht 

owners  of  the  copyright.) 


of  conceiving  man  and 
nature  as  an  indivisible 
whole,  it  became  im- 
perative in  portrait- 
painting  no  longer  to 
place  persons  before  an 
arbitrary  background, 
but  in  their  real  sur- 
roundings —  to  paint 
the  man  of  science 
in  his  laboratory,  the 
painter  in  his  studio, 
the  author  at  his  work- 
table — and  to  observe 
with  accuracy  the  at- 
mospheric influences  of 
this  environment. 

The  ready  master- 
worker  of  this  plain 
and  sincere  naturalism  in  portrait-painting  was  peculiarly  Fantin" 
Laiour,  who  ought  not  merely  to  be  judged  by  his  latest  paintings, 
which  have  something  petrified,  rigid,  gloomy,  and  professorial. 
In  his  younger  days  he  was  a  solid  and  powerful  artist,  one 
of  the  soundest  and  simplest  of  whom  France  could  boast  His 
pictures  were  dark  in  tone  and  harmonious,  and  had  a  puritanic 
charm.  The  portrait  of  Manet,  and  the  double  likeness  of  the 
engraver  Edwin  Edwards  and  his  wife,  in  particular,  will  always 
preserve  their  historical  value. 

Later,  when  the  whole  bias  of  art  was  to  turn  away  from  the 
poorer  classes  and  once  more  approach  this  fashionable  world, 
portrait-painting  also  tended  to  become  exquisite  and  over-refined 
and  to  show  a  preference  for  symphonic  arrangements  of  colour 
and  subtilized  effects  of  light  White,  light  yellow,  and  light 
blue  silks  were  harmonized  upon  very  delicate  scales  with  pearly- 
grey  backgrounds.  Ladies  in  mantles  of  light  grey  fur  and 
rosy  dresses  stand  amid  dark-green  shrubs,  in  which  rose-coloured 
lanterns   are   burning,  or   they  sit   in   a   ball-dress   near  a  lamp. 


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«r^"-— 


BouDiN  :   •'  The  Port  of  Trouvillk.'* 
iBy  p^rmistion  of  Mona,  Durand-Rutlf  tht  onmtrofiht  copyright.) 


[Laus€t  sc. 


which  produces  the   most   tender  and   manifold    transformations 
of  light  upon  the  white  of  the  silk. 

The  work  of  Jacques  Emile  Blanche^  the  son  of  the  celebrated 
doctor  for  the  mad,  is  peculiarly  characteristic  of  these  new 
tendencies  of  French  portrait-painting.  It  is  well  known  that 
English  fashion  was  at  this  time  regarded  in  Paris  as  the  height 
of  elegance,  while  Anglicisms  were  entering  more  and  more 
into  the  French  language  ;  and  this  tendency  of  taste  gave  Blanche 
the  occasion  for  most  aesthetic  pictures.  The  English  miss,  in 
her  attractive  mixture  of  affectation  and  natvet^,  in  all  her  slim 
and  long-footed  grace,  has  found  a  delicate  interpreter  in  him. 
Tall  ladies  clad  in  white,  bitten  with  the  Anglo-mania,  drink 
tea  most  aesthetically  and  sit  there  bored,  or  are  grouped 
round   the   piano  ;   gommeux,   neat,  straight,  chic^  from  their  tall 


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hats  to  their  shining  leather 
boots,  look  wearily  about 
the  world,  with  an  eyeglass 
fixed,  a  yellow  rose  in  their 
buttonhole,  and  a  thick 
stick  in  the  gloved  hand. 
Amongst  his  likenesses  of 
well  -  known  personalities, 
much  notice  was  attracted 
by  that  of  his  father  in 
1890 — a  modern  Bertinthe 
Elder— and  in  1891  by  that 
of  Maurice  Barres,  a  por- 
trait in  which  he  has 
analyzed  the  author  of  Le 
Jardin  de  BMnice  in  a 
very  simple  and  convincing 
fashion. 

The  brilliant  Italian 
Boldini  brought  to  this 
English  chic  the  manual  volubility  of  a  Southerner  :  sometimes 
he  was  microscopic  d  la  Meissonier,  sometimes  a  juggler  of 
the  brush  a  la  Fortuny,  and  sometimes  he  gave  the  most 
seductive  mannerism  and  the  most  diverting  elegance  to  his 
portraits  of  ladies.  Bora  in  1845,  the  son  of  a  painter  of 
saints,  Boldini  had  b^un  as  a  Romanticist  with  pictures  for 
Scott's  Ivanho^,  From  Ferrara  he  went  to  Florence,  where  he 
remained  six  years.  At  the  end  of  the  sixties  he  emerged  in 
London,  and,  after  he  had  painted  Lady  Holland  and  the 
Duchess  of  Westminster  there,  he  soon  became  a  popular  por- 
trait-painter. But  since  1872  his  home  has  been  Paris,  where 
the  fine  Anglo-Saxon  aroma,  the  "aei^thetic"  originality  of  his 
pictures,  soon  became  an  object  of  universal  admiration.  In  his 
portraits  of  women  Boldini  always  renders  what  is  most  noveL 
It  is  as  if  he  knew  in  advance  the  new  fashion  which  the  coming 
season  would  bring.  His  trenchantly  cut  figures  of  ladies  in 
white  dresses  and  with  black  gloves  have  a  defiant  and  insolent 

VOL.    III.  5 


Paris  :  Boussod-Valadon,]  [Carolus  Duranfixi. 

Rini.   BiLLOTTE. 


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MODERN  PAINTING 


efifect,  and  yet  one 
which  is  captivating 
through  their  ultra- 
modern chic.  The 
portraits  of  Carolus 
Duran  have  nothing 
of  that  charm  which 
makes  such  an  appeal 
to  the  nerves,  nothing 
of  that  discomposJHg 
indefinable  quality 
which  lies  in  the 
expression  and  ges- 
tures of  a  fashionable 
woman,  whose  eccen- 
tricity reveals  every 
day  fresh  nuances  of 
beauty.  He  had  not 
the  faculty  of  seizing 
movement,  the  most 
difficult  element  in  the  world.  But  Boldini's  pictures  seem  like 
bold  and  sudden  fetches  which  clench  thq  conception  with  spirit 
and  swiftness  in  liberal,  pointed  crayon  strokes  controlled  by  keen 
observation.  There  is  no  ornament,  no  bracelet,  no  pillars  and 
drapery.  One  hears  the  silken  bodies  rustle  over  the  tightly 
laced  corset,  sees  the  mobile  foot,  and  the  long  train  swept  to 
the  side  with  a  bold  movement.  Sometimes  his  creations  are 
full  and  luxuriant,  nude  even  in  their  clothes,  excited  and  full 
of  movement ;  sometimes  they  are  bodiless,  as  if  compact  of  the 
air,  pallid  and  half-dead  with  the  exertion  caused  by  nights  of 
festivity,  "living  with  hardly  any  blood  in  their  veins  where  the 
pulse  beats  almost  entirely  out  of  complaisance." 

His  pictures  of  children  are  just  as  subtile:  there  is  an  elasticity 
in  these  little  girls,  with  their  widely  opened  velvet  eyes,  their 
rosy  young  lips,  and  their  poses  calculated  with  so  much  coquetry. 
Boldini  has  an  indescribable  method  of  seizing  a  motion  of  the 
head,  a  mien,   or  a  passing  flash  of  the  eyes,  of  arranging   the 


L'Art  franfais,\ 

BiLLOTTE :  "  Paris  Twilight." 
{By  permission  of  iht  Artist.) 


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VArt.'\  \Paul  Lafond  ac. 

BoLDiNi :  Giuseppe  Verdi. 


hair,  of  indicating  coquettish 
lace  underclothing  beneath 
bright  silk  dresses,  or  of  show- 
ing the  grace  and  fineness  of 
the  slender  leg  of  a  girl,  encased 
in  a  black  silk  stocking,  and 
dangling  in  delicate  lines  from 
a  light  grey  sofa.  There  is 
French  esprit^  something  piquant 
and  with  a  double  meaning  in 
his  art,  which  borders  on  the 
indecorous  and  is  yet  charming. 
These  portraits  of  ladies,  how- 
ever, form  but  a  small  portion 
of  his  work.  He  paints  in  oils, 
in  water-colour,  and  pastel,  and 

is  equally  marvellous  in  handling  the  portraits  of  men,  the  street 
picture,  and  the  landscape.  His  portrait  of  the  painter  John 
Lewis  Brown,  crossing  the  street  with  his  wife  and  daughter, 
looked  as  though  it  had  been  painted  in  one  jet  In  his  little 
pictures  of  horses  there  is  an  astonishing  animation  and  nervous 
energy.  M.  Faure,  the  singer,  possesses  some  small  Rococo 
pictures  from  his  brush,  scenes  in  the  Garden  of  the  Tuilerics, 
which  might  have  come  from  Fortuny.  His  pictures  from  the 
street-life  of  Paris — the  Place  Pigalle,  the  Place  Clichy — recall 
De  Nittis,  and  some  illustrations — scenes  from  the  great  Paris 
races — might  have  been  drawn  by  Caran  D'Ache. 

There  is  no  need  to  treat  illustration  in  greater  detail,  because, 
naturally,  it  could  no  longer  play  the  initiative  part  which  fell 
to  it  in  earlier  days,  now  that  the  whole  of  life  had  been  drawn 
within  the  compass  of  pictorial  representation.  Besides,  in  an 
epoch  like  our  own,  which  is  determined  to  know,  and  see,  and  feel 
everything,  illustration  has  been  so  extended  that  it  would  be 
quite  impossible  even  to  select  the  most  important  work.  En- 
tirely apart  from  the  many  painters  who  occasionally  illustrated 
novels  or  other  books,  such  as  Bastien- Lepage,  Gervex,  Dantan, 
D^taille,     Dagnan-Bouveret,    Ribot,    Benjamin     Constant,    Jean 


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Paul  Laurens,  and  others, 
there  are  a  number  of 
professional  draughtsmen 
in  Paris,  most  of  whom  are 
really  distinguished  artists. 
In  particular,  Cli^ret, 
one  of  the  most  original 
artists  of  our  time— Ch^ret, 
the  great  king  of  posters, 
the  monarch  of  a  fabu- 
lously charming  world,  in 
which  everything  gleams 
in  blue  and  red  and 
orange,  cannot  be  passed 
over  in  a  history  of  paints 
ing.  The  flowers  which 
he  carelessly  strews  on  all 
sides  with  his  spendthrift 
hand  are  not  destined  for 
preservation  in  an  his- 
torical herbarium  ;  his 
works  are  transient  flashes 
of  spirit,  brilliantly  shining 
ephemeras,  but  a  bold  and 
subtile  Parisian  art  is  con- 
cealed amid  this  improvi- 
sation. Settled  for  many 
years  in  London,  Jules  Ch6ret  had  there  already  drawn  admirable 
placards,  which  are  now  much  sought  after  by  collectors. 

In  1866  he  introduced  this  novel  branch  of  industry  into 
I  ranee,  and  gave  it — thanks  to  the  invention  of  machines  which 
admit  of  the  employment  of  the  largest  lithographical  blocks — 
an  artistic  development  which  could  not  have  been  anticipated. 
He  has  created  many  thousands  of  placards.  The  book-lrade, 
the  great  shops,  and  almost  all  branches  of  industry  owe  their 
success  to  him.  His  theatrical  posters  alone  are  amongst  the 
most  graceful   products   of   modern    art :    La   Fete   des   Mitrons, 


Paris:  Goupii.} 

BoLDiNi :  Portrait  of  a  Boy. 


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La  Salle  de  Frascati,  Les 
MongoHs,  Le  Chat  Bott^, 
L'Ath^n^e  Comique,  Fan- 
taisies  Music-Hail,  La  F^e 
Cocotte,  Les  Tsiganes,  Les 
Folies-Bergferes  en  Voy- 
age, Spectacle  Concert  de 
VHorloge,  Skating  Rink, 
Les  Pillules  du  Diable,  La 
Chatte  Blanche,  Le  Petit 
Faust,  La  Vie  Parisienne, 
Le  Droit  du  Seigneur, 
Cendrillon,  Orph^e  aux 
Enfers,  Eden  Theitre,  etc. 
These  are  mere  placards, 
destined  to  hang  for  a. few 
days  on  the  street  pillars, 
and  yet  in  graceful  ease, 
sparkling  life,  and  coquet- 
tish bloom  of  colour  they 
surpass  many  oil-paintings 
which  flaunt  upon  the  walls 
of  the  Mus6e  Luxembourg. 
Amongst  the  illustra- 
tors WiUette  is  perhaps  the 
most  charming,  the  most 
brilliant  in  grace,  fancy, 
and  spirit.  A  drawing  by 
him  is  something  living,  light,  and  fresh.  Only  amongst  the 
Japanese,  or  the  great  draughtsmen  of  the  Rococo  period,  does 
one  find  plates  of  a  charm  similar  to  Willette's  tender  poems 
of  the  "  Chevalier  Printemps "  or  the  "  Baiser  de  la  Rose."  At 
the  same  time  there  is  something  curiously  innocent,  something 
primitive,  naive,  something  like  the  song  of  a  bird,  in  his 
charming  art.  No  one  can  laugh  with  such  youthful  freshness. 
No  one  has  such  a  childlike  fancy.  WiUette  possesses  the 
curious  gift   of  looking  at  the  world  like  a  boy  of  sixteen,  with 


L'Art  franfais.] 

BoLDiNi :   Portrait  of  a  Little  Girl. 


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eyes  that  are  not  jaded  for 
all  the  beauty  of  things, 
with  the  eyes  of  a  school- 
boy in  love  for  the  first 
time.  He  has  drawn 
angels  for  Gothic  windows, 
battles,  and  everything 
imaginable  ;  nevertheless 
woman  is  supreme  over 
his  whole  work,  ruined 
and  pure  as  an  angel, 
cursed  and  adored,  and 
yet  always  enchanting. 
She  is  Manon  Lescaut, 
with  her  soft  eyes  and 
angelically  pure  sins.  She 
has  something  of  the 
lovely  piquancy  of  the 
woman  of  Brantdme, 
when  she  disdainfully 
laughs  out  of  countenance 
poor  Pierrot,  who  sings 
his  serenades  to  her  plain- 
tively in  the  moonshine* 
One  might  say  that  Wil- 
lette  is  himself  his  Pierrot^ 
dazzled  by  the  young 
bosoms  and  rosy  lips :  at 
one  time  graceful  and 
laughing,  wild  as  a  young  fellow  who  has  just  escaped  from 
school  ;  at  another  earnest  and  angry,  like  an  archangel 
driving  away  the  sinful  ;  to-day  fiery,  and  to-morrow  melan- 
choly; now  in  love,  teasing,  blithe  and  tender,  now  gloomy 
and  in  mortal  trouble.  He  laughs  amid  tears  and  weeps  amid 
laughter,  singing  the  Dies  Irce  after  a  couplet  of  Offenbach ; 
himself  wears  a  black-and-white  garment,  and  is,  at  the  same 
time,  mystic  and   sensuous.      His   plates  are   as  exhilarating  as 


L'Art  franfaisJ] 
BOLDINI  : 


Portrait  of  a  Lady. 


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Willette:   "The  Golden  Age. 


sparkling   champagne,   and    breathe   the   soft,   plaintive   spirit   of 
old  ballads. 

Beside  this  amiable  Pierrot  Forain  is  like  the  modern  Satyr, 
the  true  outcome  of  the  Goncourts  and  Gavarni,  the  product  of 
the  most  modern  decadence.  All  the  vice  and  grace  of  Paris, 
all  the  luxury  of  the  world,   and  all  the  chic  of  the  demi-monde 


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64  MODERN  PAINTING 

he  has  drawn  with  spirit,  with  bold  stenographical  execution, 
and  the  elegance  of  a  sure-handed  expert  Every  stroke  is 
made  with  trenchant  energy  and  ultimate  grace.  Adultery, 
gambling,  chambres  siparieSy  carriages,  horses,  villas  in  the  Bois 
de  Boulogne ;  and  then  the  reverse  side — degradation,  theft, 
hunger,  the  filth  of  the  streets,  pistols,  suicide, — such  are  the 
principal  stages  of  the  modern  epic  which  Forain  composed ; 
and  over  all  the  Parisienne,  the  dancing-girl,  floats  with  smiling 
grace  like  a  breath  of  beauty.  His  chief  field  of  study  is  the 
promenade  of  the  Folies-Bergferes  —  the  delicate  profiles  of 
anaemic  girls  singing,  the  heavy  masses  of  flesh  of  gluttonizing 
gourmets^  the  impudent  laughter  and  lifeless  eyes  of  prosti- 
tutes, the  thin  waists,  lean  arms,  and  demon  hips  of  fading 
bodies  laced  in  silk.  Little  dancing-girls  and  fat  rou^s,  snobs 
with  short,  wide  overcoats,  huge  collars,  and  long,  pointed  shoes 
—they  all  move,  live,  and  exhale  the  odour  of  their  own 
peculiar  atmosphere.  There  is  spirit  in  the  line  of  an  overcoat 
which  Forain  draws,  in  the  furniture  of  a  room,  in  the  hang  of 
a  fur  or  a  silk  dress.  He  is  the  master  of  the  light,  fleeting 
seizure  of  the  definitive  line.  Every  one  of  his  plates  is  like  a 
spirited  causericy  which  is  to  be  understood  through  hints  and 
the  twinkling  of  the  eyes. 

The  name  of  Paul  Renouard  is  inseparable  from  the  opera. 
Degas  had  already  painted  the  opera  and  the  ballet-dancers 
with  wonderful  reality,  fine  irony,  or  in  the  weird  humour  of  a 
dance  of  death.  But  Renouard  did  not  imitate  Degas.  As  a 
pupil  of  Pils  he  was  one  of  the  many  who,  in  1871,  were 
occupied  with  the  decoration  of  the  staircase  of  the  new  opera 
house,  and  through  this  opportunity  he  obtained  his  first  glance 
into  this  capricious  and  mysterious  world  made  up  of  contrasts 
— a  world  which  henceforward  became  his  domain.  All  his 
ballet-dancers  are  accurately  drawn  at  their  rehearsals,  but  the 
charm  of  their  smile,  of  their  figures,  their  silk  tights,  their 
gracious  movements,  has  something  which  almost  goes  beyond 
nature.  Renouard  is  a  realist  with  very  great  taste.  The 
practising  of  girls  standing  on  the  tips  of  their  toes,  dancing, 
curtseying,  and  throwing  the   public   a  kiss  with  their  hands  is 


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FoRAiN  :   "  At  the  Folies-BergIres." 
{By  permission  oj  Moms.  Durand-Rtul,  tht  owner  of  the  copyright.) 


[Lau9et  sc. 


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FRANCE  67 

broadly  and  surely  drawn  with  a  few  strokes.  The  opera  is  for 
him  a  universe  in  a  nutshell — a  rhumi  of  Paris,  where  all  the 
oddities,  all  the  wildness,  and  all  the  sadness  of  modern  life  arc 
to  be  found. 

At  the  close  mention  must  be  made  of  Daniel  Vierge,  torn 
prematurely  from  his  art  by  a  cruel  disease,  but  not  before  he 
had  been  able  to  complete  his  masterpiece,  the  edition  of  Don 
Pablo  de  Segovia.  By  birth  he  was  a  Spaniard,  his  proper 
name  being  Daniel  Vierge  Urrabieta.  He,  too,  showed  himself 
a  man  of  audacious,  delicate  talent  of  nervous  fibre ;  and  his 
illustrations  in  the  Paris  journals  are  uncommonly  Parisian, 
spirited,  delicate,  and  piquant.  Without  striving  after  a  "style," 
like  Dor^,  he  expressed  everything  with  a  boldness  and  natural- 
ness which  lie  miles  apart  from  any  kind  of  pedantry.  He 
cared  chiefly  to  devote  himself  to  the  courtly  eighteenth  century, 
the  epoch  of  silk  shoes,  powder,  and  Brussels  lace.  Certain 
of  his  plates  almost  recall  Goya,  or  the  exhilarating  verve  of 
Fortuny. 


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CHAPTER    XXXV 

SPAIN 

From  Goya  to  For  tuny. —Mariano  For  tuny, —Official  efforts  for  the  cul- 
tivation of  historical  fainting, — Influence  of  Manet  inconsiderable,— 
Even  in  their  pictures  front  modern  life  the  Spaniards  remain 
followers  of  Fortuny :  Francisco  Pradilla,  Casado,  Vera^  Manuel 
Ramirez,  Moreno  CarbonerOy  Ricardo  VillodaSy  Antonio  Casanova 
y  Estorachy  Benliure  y  Gily  Checa,  Francisco  Amerigo,  Viniegra  y 
Lasso,  Mas  y  Fondevillay  Alcazar  Tejedor,  Josi  VillegaSy  Luis 
Jimenez,  Martin  Rico,  Zamacois,  Raimundo  de  Madrazo,  Francisco 
Domingo,  Emilio  Salay  Francis,  Antonio  Fabris. 

IT  was  in  the  spring  of  1870  that  a  little  picture  called 
"  La  Vicaria "  was  exhibited  in  Paris  at  the  dealer  Goupirs. 
A  marriage  is  taking  place  in  the  sacristy  of  a  Rococo  church 
in  Madrid.  The  walls  are  covered  with  faded  Cordova  leather 
hangings  figured  in  gold  and  dull  colours,  and  a  magnificent 
Rococo  screen  separates  the  sacristy  from  the  middle  aisle. 
Venetian  lustres  are  suspended  from  the  ceiling.  And  pictures 
of  martyrs,  Venetian  glasses  in  carved  oval  frames,  richly  orna- 
mented wooden  benches,  and  a  library  of  missals  and  gospels 
in  sparkling  silver  clasps  at  the  wall,  form  part  of  the  scene 
where  the  marriage  contract  is  being  signed  ;  shining  marble 
tables  and  glistening  brasiers  are  around.  The  costumes  are 
those  of  the  time  of  Goya.  As  a  matter  of  fact  an  old  beau 
is  marrying  a  young  and  beautiful  girl.  With  affected  grace 
and  in  a  skipping  minuet  step,  holding  a  modish  three-cornered 
hat  under  his  arm,  he  approaches  the  table  to  put  his  signature 
in  the  place  which  the  escribano  points  out  with  a  submissive 
bow.  He  is  arrayed  in  delicate  lilac,  while  the  bride  is  wearing 
a  white  silk  dress  trimmed  with  flowered  lace,  and  has  a  wreath 

68 


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SPAIN  69 

of  orange  blossoms  in  her  luxuriant  black  hair.  As  a  girl- 
friend is  talking  to  her  she  examines  with  abstracted  attention 
the  pretty  little  pictures  upon  her  fan,  the  finest  which  she  has 
ever  possessed.  A  very  piquant  little  head  she  has,  with  her 
long  lashes  and  her  black  eyes.  Then,  in  the  background,  follow 
the  witnesses,  and  first  of  all  a  young  lady  in  a  swelling  silk 
dress  of  the  brightest  rose-colour.  Beside  her  is  one  of  the 
bridegroom's  friends  in  a  cabbage-green  coat  with  long  flaps, 
and  a  shining  belt  from  which  a  gleaming  sabre  hangs.  The 
whole  picture  is  a  marvellous  assemblage  of  colours,  where  tones 
of  Venetian  glow  and  strength  beside  tender  pearly  grey,  like 
that  of  the  Japanese,  and  a  melting  neutral  brown,  stand 
scintillating  together. 

The  painter,  who  was  barely  thirty,  bore  the  name  of  Mariano 
Fortuny,  and  was  born  in  Reus,  a  little  town  in  the  province  of 
Tarragonia,  on  June  nth,  1838.  Five  years  after  he  had  com- 
pleted this  work  he  died,  at  the  age  of  thirty-six,  on  November  21st, 
1874.  Short  as  his  career  was,  it  was,  nevertheless,  so  brilliant, 
his  success  so  immense,  his  influence  so  great,  that  his  place  in 
the  history  of  modern  painting  remains  assured  to  him. 

Like  French  art,  Spanish  art,  after  Goya's  death,  had  borne 
the  yoke  of  Classicism,  Romanticism,  and  academical  influence 
by  turns.  In  the  grave  of  Goya  there  was  buried  for  ever, 
as  it  seemed,  the  world  of  torreros,  majas,  manolas,  monks, 
smugglers,  knaves,  and  witches,  and  all  the  local  colour  of  the 
Spanish  Peninsula.  As  late  as  the  Paris  World  Exhibition  of 
1867,  Spain  was  merely  represented  by  a  few  carefully  composed, 
and  just  as  carefully  painted,  but  tame  and  tedious,  historical 
pictures  of  the  David  or  the  Delaroche  stamp — works  such  as 
had  been  painted  for  whole  decades  by  Jos^  Madrazo,  J.  Ribera 
y  Fernandez,  Federigo  Madrazo,  Carlo  Luis  Ribera,  Eduardo 
Rosales,  and  many  others  whose  names  there  is  no  reason  for 
rescuing  from  oblivion.  They  laboured,  meditating  an  art  which 
was  not  their  own,  and  could  not  waken  any  echo  in  them- 
selves. Their  painting  was  body  without  soul,  empty  histrionic 
skill.  As  complete  darkness  had  rested  for  a  century  over 
Spanish  art,  from  the  death  of  Claudio  Coellos  in    1693  to  the 


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LArU-\ 


Mariano  Fortuny. 


appearance  of  Goya,  rising  like 
a  meteor,  so  the  first  half  of 
the  nineteenth  century  produced 
no  single  original  artist  until 
Fortuny  came  forward  in  the 
sixties. 

He  grew  up  amid  poor  sur- 
roundings, and  when  he  was 
twelve  years  of  age  he  lost  his 
father  and  mother.  His  grand- 
father, an  enterprising  and 
adventurous  joiner,  had  made 
for  himself  a  cabinet  of  wax 
figures,  which  he  exhibited 
from  town  to  town  in  the 
province  of  Tarragonia.  With  his  grandson  he  went  on  foot 
through  all  the  towns  of  Catalonia,  the  old  man  showing  the 
wax  figures  which  the  boy  painted.  Whenever  he  had  a 
moment  free  the  latter  was  drawing,  carving  in  wood,  and 
modelling  in  wax.  It  chanced,  however,  that  a  sculptor  saw  his 
attempts,  spoke  of  them  in  Fortuny's  birthplace,  and  succeeded 
in  inducing  the  town  to  make  an  allowance  of  forty-two  francs 
a  month  to  a  lad  whose  talent  had  so  much  promise.  By  these 
means  Fortuny  was  enabled  to  attend  the  Academy  of  Barcelona 
during  four  years.  In  1857,  when  he  was  nineteen  years  of  age, 
he  received  the  Prix  de  Rome^  and  set  out  for  Rome  itself  in 
the  same  year.  But  whilst  he  was  copying  the  pictures  of  the 
old  masters  there,  a  circumstance  occurred  which  set  him  upon 
another  course.  The  war  between  Spain  and  the  Emperor  of 
Morocco  determined  his  future  career.  Fortuny  was  then  a 
young  man  of  three-and-twenty,  very  strong,  rather  thickset, 
quick  to  resent  an  injury,  taciturn,  resolute,  and  habituated  to 
exertion.  His  residence  in  the  East,  which  lasted  from  five  to 
six  months,  was  a  discovery  for  him — a  feast  of  delight.  He 
found  the  opportunity  of  studying  in  the  immediate  neighbour- 
hood a  people  whose  life  was  opulent  in  colour  and  wild  in 
movement ;   and   he   beheld    with  wonder  the  gleaming  pictorial 


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J 

\ 

^     *^.w             ^            .     - 

w. 

III            .  >^' 

^ 

T{ 

^j4     ; 

.vll^ 

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^T^^^^^p  ■Fi^^^   ' 

Paris:  Boussod-Valadon.'] 

Fortuny:  "The  Spanish  Marriage." 
(By  permission  of  Messrs,  BoMSSod,  Valachn  cS*  Co.,  the  owners  of  the  copyright,) 

episodes  so  variously  enacted  before  him,  and  the  rich  costumes 
upon  which  the  radiance  of  the  South  glanced  in  a  hundred 
reflections.  And,  in  particular,  when  the  Emperor  of  Morocco 
came  with  his  brilliant  suite  to  sign  the  treaty  of  peace,  Fortuny 
developed  a  feverish  activity.  The  great  battle-piece  which  he 
should  have  executed  on  the  commission  of  the  Academy  of 
Barcelona  remained  unfinished.  On  the  other  hand,  he  painted 
a  series  of  Oriental  pictures,  in  which  his  astonishing  dexterity 
and  his  marvellously  sensitive  eye  were  already  to  be  clearly 
discerned :  the  stalls  of  Moorish  carpet-sellers,  with  little  figures 
swarming  about  them,  and  the  rich  display  of  woven  stuffs  of  the 
East ;  the  weary  attitude  of  old  Arabs  sitting  in  the  sun ;  the 
sombre,  brooding  faces  of  strange  snake-charmers  and  magicians. 
This  is  no  Parisian  East,  like  Fromentin's ;  every  one  here  is 
speaking  Arabic.  It  is  only  Guillaumet  who  afterwards  inter- 
preted the  fakir  world  of  the  East,  dreamy  and  contemplative  in 
the  sunshine,  in  a  manner  equally  convincing. 

Yet  Fortuny  first  discovered  his  peculiar  province  when  he 
began,  after  his  return,  to  paint  those  brilliant  kaleidoscopic 
Rococo  pictures  with  their  charming  play  of  colour,  the  pictures 


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VArt,] 


Fortuny:  '<  Moors  playing  with  a  Vulture.' 


[Champollion  i 


which  founded  his  reputation  in  Paris.  Even  in  the  earliest, 
representing  gentlemen  of  the  Rococo  period  examining  engrav- 
ings in  a  richly  appointed  interior,  the  Japanese  weapons,  Renais- 
sance chests,  gilded  frames  of  carved  wood,  and  all  the  delightful 
petit-riens  from  the  treasury  of  the  past  which  he  had  heaped 
in  it  together,  were  so  wonderfully  painted  that  Goupil  began 
a  connection  with  him  and  ordered  further  works.  This  commis- 
sion occasioned  his  journey,  in  the  autumn  of  1866,  to  Paris, 
where  he  entered  into  Meissonier's  circle,  and  worked  sometimes 
at  G6r6me*s.  Yet  neither  of  them  exerted  any  influence  upon 
him  at  all  worth  mentioning.  The  French  painter  in  miniature 
is,  probably,  the  father  of  the  department  of  art  to  which 
F^ortuny  belongs ;  but  the  latter  united  to  the  delicate  execution 
of  the  Frenchman  the  flashing,  gleaming  spirit  of  the  Latin 
races  of  the  South.  He  is  a  Meissonier  with  esprit  recalling 
Goya.  In  his  picture  "  The  Spanish  Marriage "  (La  Vicaria),  all 
the  vivid,  throbbing.  Rococo  world,  buried  with  Goya,  revived 
once  more.     While  in  his  Oriental  pieces— -"The  Praying  Arab,'' 


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Qnm.,  d^  Bta>a^Atti.\ 


IHntft'm  if- 


FoRTUNY :  ••  The  Snake-Charmers.'^ 


"The  Arabian  Fantasia,"  and  **The  Snake-Charmers " — he  still 
aimed  at  concentration  and  unity  of  effect,  this  picture  had 
something  gleaming,  iridescent,  and  pearly  which  soon  became 
the  delight  of  all  collectors.  Fortuny's  successes,  his  celebrity, 
and  his  fortune  dated  from  that  time.  His  name  went  up  like 
a  meteor.  After  fighting  long  years  in  vain,  not  for  recognition, 
but  for  his  very  bread,  he  suddenly  became  the  most  honoured 
painter  of  the  day,  and  began  to  exert  upon  a  whole  generation 
of  young  artists  that  powerful  influence  which  survives  even  at 
this  very  day. 

The  studio  which  he  built  for  himself  after  his  marriage 
with  the  daughter  of  Federigo  Madrazo  in  Rome  was  a  little 
museum  of  the  most  exquisite  products  of  the  artistic  crafts  of 
the  West  and  the  East:  the  walls  were  decorated  with  brilliant 
Oriental  stuffs,  and  great  glass  cabinets  with  Moorish  and 
Arabian  weapons,  and  old  tankards  and  glasses  from  Murano 
stood  around.  He  sought  and  collected  everything  that  shines 
and  gleams  in  varying  colour.  That  was  his  world,  and  the 
basis  of  his  art. 

Pillars  of  marble  and  porphyry,  groups  of  ivory  and  bronze, 
lustres  of  Venetian  glass,  gilded  consoles  with  small  busts,  great 
tables  supported  by  gilded  satyrs  and  inlaid  with  variegated 
mosaics,  form  the  surroundings  of  that  astonishing  work  "The 
Trial   of  the   Model."      Upon   a   marble    table   a   young   girl  is 

VOL.  III.  6 


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[Champoiiion  sc, 
FoRTUNY :    "  The  Trial  of  the  Model." 
(By  permission  of  Messrs.  Boussod,  Valadon  <S»  Co.,  the  owners  of  the  copyright,) 

Standing  naked,  posing  before  a  row  of  academicians  in  the 
costume  of  the  Louis  XV.  period,  while  each  one  of  them  gives 
his  judgment  by  a  movement  or  an  expression  of  the  face.  One 
of  them  has  approached  quite  close  and  is  examining  the  little 
woman  through  his  lorgnette.  All  the  costumes  gleam  in  a 
thousand  hues  which  the  marble  reflects.  By  his  picture  "The 
Poet"  or  "The  Rehearsal,"  he  reached  his  highest  point  in  the 
capricious  analysis  of  light.  In  an  old  Rococo  garden,  with 
the  brilliant  facade  of  the  Alhambra  as  its  background,  there  is 
a  gathering  of  gentlemen  assembled  to  witness  the  rehearsal  of 
a  tragedy.  The  heroine,  a  tall,  charming,  luxuriant  beauty,  has 
just  fallen  into  a  faint.  On  the  other  hand  the  hero,  holding 
the  lady  on  his  right  arm,  is  reading  the  verses  of  his  part 
from  a  large  manuscript.  The  gentlemen  are  listening  and 
exchanging  remarks  with  the  air  of  connoisseurs  ;  one  of  them 
closes  his  eyes  to  listen  with  thorough  attention.  Here  the 
entire  painting  flashes  like  a  rocket,  and  is  iridescent  and  bril- 
liant like  a  peacock^s  tail.  Fortuny  splits  the  rays  of  the  sun 
into  endless   nuances  which  are  scarcely  perceptible   to   the   eye, 


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IS 


Paris:  Boussod-Valadon.\ 


FoRTUNY  :   •*  The  Rehearsal." 


and  gives  expression  to  their  flashing  glitter  with  astonishing 
delicacy.  Henri  Regnault,  who  visited  him  at  that  time  in 
Rome,  wrote  to  a  Parisian  friend  :  "  The  time  I  spent  with 
Fortuny  yesterday  is  haunting  me  still.  What  a  magnificent 
fellow  he  is!  He  paints  the  most  marvellous  things  and  is  the 
master  of  us  all.  I  wish  I  could  show  you  the  two  or  three 
pictures  that  he  has  in  hand,  or  his  etchings  and  water-colours. 
They  inspired  me  with  a  real  disgust  of  my  own.  Ah !  Fortuny, 
you  spoil  my  sleep." 

Even  as  an  etcher  he  caught  all  the  technical  finesses  and 
appetizing  piquancies  of  his  great  forerunner  Goya.  It  is 
only  with  very  light  and  spirited  strokes  that  the  outlines  of 
his  figures  are  drawn ;  then,  as  in  Goya,  comes  the  aquatint,  the 
colour  which  covers  the  background  and  gives  locality,  depth, 
and  light.  A  few  scratches  with  a  needle,  a  black  spot,  a  light 
made  by  a  judiciously  inserted  patch  of  white,  and  he  gives  his 
figures  life  and  character,  causing  them  to  emerge  from  the 
black  depth  of  the  background  like  mysterious  visions.  "The 
Dead  Arab,"  covered  with  his  black  cloak,  and  lying  on  the 
ground  with  his  musket  on  his  arm,  "  The  Shepherd  "  on  the 
stump  of  a  pillar,  "  The  Serenade,"  "  The  Reader,"  "  The  Tam- 
bourine Player,"  "The  Pensioner,"  the  picture  of  the  gentleman 


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UAri.^ 


with  a  pig-tail  bending 
over  his  flowers,  "  The 
Anchorite,"  and  "  The 
Arab  mourning  over  the 
Body  of  his  Friend,"  are 
the  most  important  of  his 
plates,  which  are  some- 
times pungent  and  spirited, 
and  sometimes  sombre  and 
fantastic. 

In  the  picture  "The 
Strand  of  Portici "  he  at- 
tempted to  strike  out  a 
new  path.  He  was  tired 
of  the  gay  rags  of  the 
eighteenth  century,  as  he 
said  himself,  and  meant  to 
paint  for  the  future  only 
subjects  from  surrounding 
life  in  an  entirely  modern 
manner  like  that  of  Manet.  But  he  was  not  destined  to  carry 
out  this  change  any  further.  He  passed  away  in  Rome  on 
November  2 1st,  1874.  When  the  unsold  works  which  he  left 
were  put  up  to  auction  the  smallest  sketches  fetched  high  figures, 
and  even  his  etchings  were  bought  at  marvellous  prices. 

In  these  days  the  enthusiasm  for  Fortuny  is  no  longer  so 
glowing.  The  capacity  to  paint  became  so  ordinary  in  the 
course  of  years  that  it  was  presupposed  as  a  matter  of  course  ; 
it  was  a  necessary  acquirement  for  an  artist  to  have  before 
approaching  his  pictures  in  a  psychological  fashion.  And  in 
this  latter  respect  there  is  a  deficiency  in  Fortuny.  He  is  a 
channeur  who  dazzles  the  eyes,  but  rather  creates  a  sense 
of  astonishment  than  holds  the  spectator  in  his  grip.  Beneath 
his  hands  painting  has  become  a  matter  of  pure  virtuosity,  a 
marvellous,  flaring  firework  that  amazes  and — leaves  us  cold 
after  all.  With  enchanting  delicacy  he  runs  through  the 
brilliant    gamut    of   radiant   colours    upon    the    small    keyboard 


Fortuny : 


[Waltnersc. 
'The  China  Vase/' 


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of  his  little  pictures  painted  with  a  pocket-lens,  and  everything 
glitters  golden,  like  the  dress  of  a  fairy.  To  the  patience  of 
Meissonier  he  united  a  delicacy  of  colour,  a  wealth  of  pictorial 
point,  and  a  crowd  of  delightful  trifles,  which  combine  to 
make  him  the  most  exquisite  and  fascinating  juggler  of  the 
pallet — an  amazing  colourist,  a  wonderful  clown,  an  original 
and  subtile  painter  with  vibrating  nerves,  but  not  a  truly  great 
and  moving  artist.  His  pictures  are  dainties  in  gold  frames, 
jewels  delicately  set,  astonishing  efforts  of  patience,  broken  by 
a  flashing,  rocket-like  esprit ;  but  beneath  the  glittering  surface 
one  is  conscious  of  there  being  neither  heart  nor  soul.  His 
art  might  have  been  French  or  Italian,  just  as  appropriately  as 
Spanish.  It  is  the  art  of  virtuosos  of  the  brush,  and  Fortuny 
himself  is  the  initiator  of  a  religion  which  found  its  enthusiastic 
followers,  not  in  Madrid  alone,  but  in  Naples,  Paris,  and  Rome. 
Yet  Spanish  painting,  so  far  as  it  is  individual,  works  even 
now  upon  the  lines  of  Fortuny.  After  his  death  it  divided 
into  two  streams.  The  official  endeavour  of  the  academies  was 
to  keep  the  grand  historical  painting  in  flower,  in  accord  with 
the  proud  programme  announced  by  Francisco  Tubino  in  his 
brochure  The  Renaissance  of  Spanish  Art.  "Our  contem- 
porary artists,"  he  writes,  "  fill  all  civilized  Europe  with  their 
fame,  and  are  the  object  of  admiration  on  the  far  side  of  the 
Atlantic.  We  have  a  peculiar  school  of  our  own  with  a 
hundred  teachers,  and  it  shuns  comparison  with  no  school  in 
any  other  country.  At  home  the  Academy  of  the  Fine  Arts 
watches  over  the  progress  of  painting ;  it  has  perfected  the 
laws  by  which  our  Academy  in  Rome  is  guided,  the  Academy 
in  the  proud  possession  of  Spain  and  situated  so  splendidly 
upon  the  Janiculum.  In  Madrid  there  is  a  succession  of  biennial 
exhibitions,  and  there  is  no  deficiency  in  prizes  nor  in  purchases. 
Spanish  painting  does  not  merely  adorn  the  citizen's  house  or  the 
boudoir  of  the  fair  sex  with  easel-pieces;  by  its  productions  it 
recalls  the  great  episodes  of  popular  history,  which  are  able  to 
excite  men  to  glorious  deeds.  Austere,  like  our  national  character, 
it  forbids  fine  taste  to  descend  to  the  painting  of  anything 
indecorous.     Before  everything  we  want  grand  paintings  for  our 


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galleries ;  the  commercial  spirit  is  no  master  of  ours.  In  such 
a  way  the  glory  of  Zurburan,  Murillo,  and  Velasquez  lives  once 
more  in  a  new  sense." 

The  results  of  such  efforts  were  those  historical  pictures  which 
at  the  Paris  World  Exhibition  of  1878,  the  Munich  International 
Exhibition  of  1883,  and  at  every  larger  exhibition  since  became 
so  exceedingly  refreshing  to  all  admirers  of  the  illustration  of 
history  upon  ground  that  was  genuinely  Spanish.  At  the  Paris 
World  Exhibition  of  1878,  Pradilla's  "Joan  .the  Mad"  received 
the  large  gold  medal,  and  was  indeed  a  good  picture  in  the 
manner  of  Laurens.  Philip  the  Fair  is  dead.  The  funereal 
train,  paying  him  the  last  honours,  has  come  to  a  halt  upon  a 
high-road,  and  the  unhappy  princess  rushes  up  with  floating  hair 
and  staring  eyes  fixed  upon  the  bier  which  hides  the  remains 
of  her  husband.  The  priests  and  women  kneeling  around  regard 
the  unfortunate  mad  woman  with  mournful  pity.  To  the  right 
the  members  of  the  Court  are  grouped  near  a  little  chapel  where 
a  priest  is  celebrating  a  mass  for  the  dead;  to  the  left  the  peasantry 
are  crowding  round  to  witness  the  ceremony.  Great  wax  candles 
are  burning,  and  the  chapel  is  lit  up  with  the  sombre  glow  of 
torches.  This  was  all  exceedingly  well  painted,  carefully  balanced 
in  composition,  and  graceful  in  drawing.  At  the  Munich  Ex- 
hibition of  1883  he  received  the  gold  medal  for  his  "Surrender 
of  Granada,  1492,"  a  picture  which  made  a  great  impression  at 
the  time  upon  the  German  historical  painters,  as  Pradilla  had 
made  a  transition  from  the  brown  bituminous  painting  of  Laurens 
to  a  "  modern  "  painting  in  grey,  which  did  more  justice  to  the 
illumination  of  objects  beneath  the  open  sky.  In  the  same  year 
Casadds  large  painting  "  The  Bells  of  Huesca,"  with  the  ground 
streaming  with  blood,  fifteen  decapitated  bodies  and  as  many 
bodiless  heads,  was  a  creation  which  was  widely  admired.  Vera 
had  exhibited  his  picture,  filled  with  wild  fire  and  pathos,  "  The 
Defence  of  Numantia,"  and  Manuel  Ramirez  his  "  Execution  of 
Don  Alvaro  de  Luna,"  with  the  pallid  head  which  has  rolled 
from  the  steps  and  stares  at  the  spectator  in  such  a  ghastly 
manner.  In  his  "  Conversion  of  the  Duke  of  Gandia,"  Moreno 
Carbonero  displayed    an    open    coffin   d    la   Laurens :    as   Grand 


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Equerry  to  the  Empress 
Isabella  at  the  Court  of 
Charles  V.,  the  Duke  of 
Gandia,  after  the  death 
of  his  mistress,  has  to 
superintend  the  burial  of 
her  corpse  in  the  vault  at 
Granada,  and  as  the  coffin 
is  opened  there,  to  confirm 
the  identity  of  the  person, 
the  distorted  features  of 
the  dead  make  such  a 
powerful  impression  upon 
the  careless  noble  that 
he  takes  a  vow  to  devote 
himself  to  God.  Ricardo 
VUlodas  in  his  picture 
"  Victoribus  Gloria  "  re- 
presents the  beginning  ol 
one    of    those    sea-battles 

which  Augustus  made  gladiators  fight  for  the  amusement  of  the 
Roman  people.  By  Antonio  Casanova  y  Estorach  there  was 
a  picture  of  King  Ferdinand  the  Holy,  who  upon  Maundy 
Thursday  is  washing  the  feet  of  eleven  poor  old  men  and 
giving  them  food.  And  a  special  sensation  was  made  by  the 
great  ghost  picture  of  Benliure  y  Gil,  which  he  named  "A 
Vision  in  the  Colosseum."  Saint  Almaquio,  who  was  slain, 
according  to  tradition,  by  gladiators  in  the  Colosseum,  is  seen 
floating  in  the  air,  as  he  swings  in  fanatical  ecstasy  a  crucifix 
from  which  light  is  streaming.  Upon  one  side  men  who  have 
borne  witness  to  Christianity  with  their  blood  chant  their 
hymns  of  praise ;  upon  the  other  troops  of  female  martyrs 
clothed  in  white  and  holding  tapers  in  their  hands  move  by  ; 
but  below  the  earth  has  opened  and  the  dead  rise  for 
the  celebration  of  this  midnight  service,  praying  from  their 
graves,  while  the  full  moon  shines  through  the  windows  of  the 
ruins  and  pours  its  pale  light  upon  the  phantom  congregation. 


Pradilla:  a  Fresco  at  the  Murga  Palace. 


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Anftai  UHMftt  Z4i/,] 


Fradilla:   "On  the  Beach.*^ 


Ha»^/>taH^i  htJitt, 


There  was  exhibited  by  CAeca  "A  Barbarian  Onset,"  a  Gallic 
horde  of  riders  thundering  past  a  Roman  temple,  from  which 
the  priestesses  are  flying  in  desperation.  Francisco  Amerigo 
treated  upon  a  huge  canvas  a  scene  from  the  sacking  of  Rome 
in  1527,  when  the  despoiling  troops  of  Charles  V.  plundered 
the  Eternal  City.  "  Soldiers  intoxicated  with  wine  and  lust, 
tricked  out  with  bishops*  mitres  and  wrapped  in  the  robes  of 
priests,  are  desecrating  the  temples  of  God.  Nunneries  are 
violated,  and  fathers  kill  their  daughters  to  save  them  from 
shame."  So  ran  the  historical  explanation  set  upon  the  broad 
gold  frame. 

But,  after  all,  these  historical  pictures,  in  spite  of  their  great 
spaces  of  canvas,  are  of  no  consequence  when  one  comes  to 
characterize  the  efforts  of  modern  art.  Explanations  could  be 
given  showing  that  in  the  land  of  bull-fights  this  painting  of 
horrors  maintained  itself  longer  than  elsewhere,  but  the  hopes 
of  those  who  prophesied  from  it  a  new  golden  period  for 
historical  painting  were  entirely  disappointed.  For  Spanish  art, 
as  in  earlier  days  for  French  art,  the  historical  picture  has 
merely    the    importance    implied    by    the    Prix   de    Rome,      A 


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SPAIN  83 

method  of  colouring  which  is  often  dazzling  in  result,  and 
a  vigorous  study  of  nature,  preserved  from  the  danger  of 
"beautiful"  tinting,  make  the  Spanish  works  different  from  the 
older  ones.  Their  very  passion  often  has  an  effect  which  is 
genuine,  brutal,  and  of  telling  power.  In  the  best  of  these 
pictures  one  believes  that  a  wild  temperament  really  does  burst 
in  flame  through  the  accepted  convention  that  the  painters 
have  delight  in  the  horrible,  which  the  older  French  artists 
resorted  to  merely  for  the  purpose  of  preparing  veritable  tableaux. 
But  in  the  rank  and  file,  in  place  of  the  Southern  vividness  of 
expression  which  has  been  sincerely  felt,  histrionic  pose  is  the 
predominant  element,  the  petty  situation  of  the  stage  set  upon 
a  gigantic  canvas,  and  in  addition  to  this  a  straining  after  effect 
which  grazes  the  boundary  line  where  the  horrible  degenerates 
into  the  ridiculous.  Through  their  extraordinary  ability  they 
all  compel  respect,  but  they  have  not  enriched  the  treasury  of 
modem  emotion,  nor  have  they  transformed  the  older  historical 
painting  in  the  essence  of  its  being.  And  the  man  who  handles 
again  and  again  motives  derived  from  what  happens  to  be  the 
mode  in  colours  renders  no  service  to  art.  Delaroche  is  dead  ; 
but  though  he  may  be  disinterred  he  cannot  be  brought  to 
life,  and  the  Spaniards  merely  dug  out  of  the  earth  mummies 
in  which  the  breath  of  life  was  wanting.  Their  works  are 
not  guide-posts  to  the  future,  but  the  last  revenants  of  that 
histrionic  spirit  which  wandered  like  a  ghost  through  the  art 
of  all  nations.  Even  the  composition,  the  shining  colours,  the 
settles  and  carpets  picturesquely  spread  upon  the  ground,  are 
the  same  as  in  Gallait.  How  often  have  these  precious  stage- 
properties  done  duty  in  tragic  funereal  service  since  Delaroche's 
"  Murder  of  the  Duke  of  Guise  "  and  Piloty's  "  Seni "  ! 

And  these  conceptions  nourished  upon  historical  painting  had 
an  injurious  influence  upon  the  handling  of  the  modern  picture 
of  the  period.  Even  here  there  is  an  endeavour  to  make  a 
compromise  with  the  traditional  historic  picture,  since  artists 
painted  scenes  from  modern  popular  life  upon  great  spaces  of 
canvas,  transforming  them  into  pageants  or  pictures  of  tragical 
ceremonies,    and    sought    too    much    after    subjects   with    which 


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MODERN  PAINTING 


ViLi.EGAs:   "The  Death  or  the  Matador. 


the  splendid  and  motley  colours  of  historical  painting  would 
accord.  Viniegra  y  Lasso  and  Mas  y  Fondevilla  execute  great 
processions  filing  past,  with  bishops,  monks,  priests,  and  choristers. 
All  the  figures  stand  beaming  in  brightness  against  the  sky,  but 
the  light  glances  from  the  oily  mantles  of  the  figures  without 
real  effect.  Alcazar  Tejedor  paints  a  young  priest  reading  his 
"  First  Mass  "  in  the  presence  of  his  parents,  and  merely  renders 
a  theatrical  scene  in  modem  costume,  merely  transfers  to  an 
event  of  the  present  that  familiar  "  moment  of  highest  excite- 
ment" so  popular  since  the  time  of  Delaroche.  By  his  "Death 
of  the  Matador,"  and  "  The  Christening,"  bought  by  Vanderbilt 
for  a  hundred  and  fifty  thousand  francs,  Josi  Villegas,  in  ability 
the  most  striking  of  them  all,  acquired  a  European  name ; 
whilst  a  hospital  scene  by  Luis  Jimenez  of  Seville  is  the 
Sringle  picture  in  which  something  of  the  seriousness  of  French 
Naturalism  is  perceptible,  but  it  is  an  isolated  example  from  a 
province  of  interest  which  is  otherwise  not  to  be  found  in 
Spain. 

Indeed  the  Spaniards  are  by  no  means  most  attractive  in 
gravely  ceremonial  and  stiffly  dignified  pictures,  but  rather 
when    they   indulge    in    unpretentious  "  little    painting "   in   the 


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SPAIN  85 

manner  of  Fortuny.  Yet  even  these  wayward  "  little  painters/* 
with  their  varied  glancing  colour,  are  not  to  be  properly  reckoned 
amongst  the  moderns.  Their  painting  is  an  art  dependent  on 
deftness  of  hand,  and  knows  no  higher  aim  than  to  bring 
together  in  a  picture  as  many  brilliant  things  as  possible,  to 
make  a  charming  bouquet  with  glancing  effects  of  costume, 
and  the  play,  the  reflections,  and  the  caprices  of  sunbeams. 
The  earnest  modern  art  which  sprang  from  Manet  and  the 
Fontainebleau  painters  avoids  this  kaleidoscopic  sport  with  varied 
spots  of  colour.  All  these  little  folds  and  mouldings,  these 
prismatic  arts  of  blending,  and  these  curious  reflections  are 
what  the  moderns  have  no  desire  to  see :  they  blink  their  eyes 
to  gain  a  clearer  conception  of  the  chief  values ;  they  simplify ; 
they  refuse  to  be  led  from  the  main  point  by  a  thousand  trifles. 
Their  pictures  are  works  of  art,  while  those  of  the  disciples  of 
Fortuny  are  sleights  of  artifice.  In  all  this  bric-d-brac  art  there 
is  no  question  of  any  earnest  analysis  of  light.  The  motley 
spots  of  colour  yield,  no  doubt,  a  certain  concord  of  their  own  ; 
but  there  is  a  want  of  tone  and  air,  a  want  of  all  finer  senti- 
ment :  everything  seems  to  have  been  dyed,  instead  of  giving 
the  effect  of  colour.  Nevertheless  those  who  were  independent 
enough  not  to  let  themselves  be  entirely  bewitched  by  the  de- 
ceptive adroitness  of  a  conjurer  have  painted  little  pictures  of 
talent  and  refinement;  taking  Fortuny's  Rococo  works  as  their 
starting-point,  they  have  represented  the  fashionable  world  and 
the  highly  coloured  and  warm-blooded  life  of  the  people  of 
modem  Spain  with  a  bold  and  spirited  facility.  But  they  have 
not  gone  beyond  the  observation  of  the  external  sides  of  life. 
They  can  show  guitarreros  clattering  with  castanets  and  pan- 
darets,  majas  dancing,  and  ribboned  heroes  conquering  bulls 
instead  of  Jews  and  Moors.  Yet  their  pictures  are  at  an)  rate 
blithe,  full  of  colour,  flashing  with  sensuous  brilliancy,  and  at 
times  they  are  executed  with  stupendous  skill. 

Martin  Rico  was  for  the  longest  period  in  Italy  with  Fortuny,. 
and  his  pictures  also  have  the  glitter  of  a  casket  of  jewels,  the 
pungency  of  sparkling  champagne.  Some  of  his  sea-pieces, 
in  particular — for  instance,  those    of   the    canal    in   Venice    and 


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86  MODERN  PAINTING 

the  Bay  of  Fontarabia — might  have  been  painted  by  Fortuny. 
In  others  he  seems  quieter  and  more  harmonious  than  the 
latter.  His  execution  is  more  powerful,  less  marked  by  spirited 
stippling,  and  his  light  gains  in  intensity  and  atmospheric 
refinement  what  it  loses  in  mocking  caprices,  while  his  little 
figures  have  a  more  animated  effect,  notwithstanding  the  less 
piquant  manner  in  which  they  are  painted.  Their  outlines  are 
scarcely  perceptible,  and  yet  they  are  seen  walking,  jostling, 
and  pressing  against  each  other,  whereas  those  of  Fortuny, 
precisely  through  the  more  subtile  and  microscopic  method  in 
which  they  have  been  executed,  often  seem  as  though  they 
were  benumbed  in  movement.  Certain  market  scenes,  with  a 
dense  crowd  of  buyers  and  sellers,  are  peculiarly  spirited,  rapid 
sketches,  with  a  gleaming  charm  of  colour. 

Zamacois,  Casanova^  and  Raimundo  de  Madrazo^  Fortuny's 
brother-in-law,  show  no  less  virtuosity  of  the  pallet  Sea-pieces 
and  little  landscapes  alternate  with  scenes  from  Spanish  popular 
life,  where  they  revel,  like  Fortuny,  in  a  scintillating  motleyness 
of  colour.  Later,  in  Paris,  Madrazo  was  likewise  much  sought 
after  as  a  painter  of  ladies'  portraits,  as  he  lavished  on  his 
pictures  sometimes  a  fine  haut  goUt  of  fragrant  Rococo  grace 
d  la  Chaplin,  and  sometimes  devoted  himself  with  taste  and 
deftness  to  symphonic  tours  de  force  d  la  Carolus  Duran. 
Particularly  memorable  is  the  portrait  of  a  graceful  young  girl 
in  red,  exhibited  in  the  Munich  Exhibition  of  1883.  She  is 
seated  upon  a  sofa  of  crimson  silk,  and  her  feet  rest  upon 
a  dark  red  carpet.  And  equally  memorable  was  a  pierrette 
in  the  Paris  World  Exhibition  of  1889,  whose  costume  ran 
through  the  whole  gamut  from  white  to  rose-colour.  Her  skirt 
was  of  a  darker,  her  bodice  of  a  brighter  red,  and  a  light 
rose-coloured  stocking  peeped  from  beneath  a  grey  silk  petti- 
coat; over  her  shoulders  lay  a  white  swansdown  cape,  and 
white  gloves  and  white  silk  shoes  with  rose-coloured  bows 
completed  her  toilette.  His  greatest  picture  represented  "The 
End  of  a  Mask  Ball."  Before  the  Paris  Opera  cabs  are  waiting 
with  coachmen  sleeping  or  smoking,  whilst  a  troop  of  pierrots 
and  Pierrettes,  harlequins,  Japanese  girls,  Rococo  gentlemen,  and 


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iHanfstdngl  htlio, 
Bknuurk  y  Gil  :  *'  A  Vision  in  the  Colosseum." 

Turkish  women  are  streaming  out,  sparkling  with  the  most 
glittering  colours  in  the  grey  winter  morning,  into  which  the 
gas  of  the  lamps  casts  a  paling  yellow  light. 

Even  those  who  made  their  chief  success  as  historical 
painters  became  new  beings  when  they  came  forward  with  such 
piquant  "  little  paintings."  Francisco  Domingo  in  Valencia  is 
the  Spanish  Meissonier,  who  has  painted  little  horsemen  before 
an  inn,  mercenary  soldiers,  newspaper-readers,  and  philosophers 
of  the  time  of  Louis  XV.,  with  all  the  daintiness  in  colour 
associated  with  the  French  patriarch — although  a  huge  canvas, 
"The  Last  Day  of  Sagunt,"  has  the  reputation  of  being  his 
chief  performance.  In  the  year  in  which  he  exhibited  his 
**  Vision  in  the  Colosseum,"  Benliure  y  Gil  had  success  with  two 
little  pictures  stippled  in  varied  colours,  the  "  Month  of  Mary " 
and  the  "Distribution  of  Prizes  in  Valencia,"  in  which  children, 
smartened    and    dressed    in    white    frocks,    are    moving    in    the 


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Casado:   "The  Bells  of  Huesca." 

ante-chambers  of  a  church,  which  are  festally  adorned.  Casado^ 
painter  of  the  sanguinary  tragedy  of  Huesca,  showed  himself  an 
admirable  little  master  full  of  elegance  and  grace  in  "  The 
Bull-fighter's  Reward,"  a  small  eighteenth-century  picture.  The 
master  of  the  great  hospital  picture,  Jimenez^  took  the  world  by 
surprise  at  the  very  same  time  by  a  "Capuchin  Friar's  Sermon 
before  the  Cathedral  of  Seville,"  which  flashed  with  colour. 
Emilio  Sola  y  Frances,  whose  historical  masterpiece  was  the 
"  Expulsion  of  the  Jews  from  Spain  in  1493,"  delights  elsewhere 
in  spring.  Southern  gardens  with  luxuriant  vegetation,  and 
delicate  Rococo  ladies,  holding  up  their  skirts  filled  with  blooming 
roses,  or  bending  to  the  grass  to  pick  field-flowers.  Antonio 
Fabris  was  led  to  the  East  by  the  influence  of  Regnault,  and 
excited  attention  by  his  aquarelles  and  studies  in  pen  and  ink,  in 
which  he  represented  Oriental  and  Roman  street  figures  with 
astonishing  adroitness.  But  the  ne  plus  ultra  is  attained  by  the 
bold  and  winning  art  of  Pradilla^  which  is  like  a  thing  shot  out  of 


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SPAIN  89 

a  pistol.  He  is  the  greatest  product  of  contemporary  Spain, 
a  man  of  ingenious  and  improvizing  talent,  moving  with  ease 
in  the  most  varied  fields.  In  the  bold  and  spirited  decorations 
with  which  he  embellished  Spanish  palaces,  he  sported  with 
nymphs  and  Loves  and  floating  genii  d  la  Tiepolo.  All  the 
grace  of  the  Rococo  period  is  cast  over  his  works  in  the  Palais 
Murga  in  Madrid.  The  figures  join  each  other  with  ease — 
cbquettish  nymphs  swaying  upon  boughs,  and  audacious  **  Putti " 
tumbling  over  backwards  in  quaint  games.  Nowhere  is  there 
academic  sobriety,  and  everywhere  life,  pictorial  inspiration,  the 
intoxicating  joyousness  of  a  fancy  creating  without  effort  and 
revelling  in  the  festal  delight  of  the  senses.  In  the  accom- 
panying wall-pictures  he  revived  the  age  of  the  troubadours, 
of  languishing  love-song  and  knightly  romance  free  from  the 
burden  of  thought,  in  tenderly  graceful  and  fluent  figures.  And 
this  same  painter,  who  filled  these  huge  spaces  of  wall,  lightly 
dallying  with  subjects  from  the  world  of  fable,  seems  another 
man  when  he  grasps  fragments  from  the  life  of  our  own  age  in 
pithy  inspirations  sure  in  achievement.  His  historical  pictures 
are  works  which  compel  respect ;  but  those  paintings  of  the 
most  diminutive  scale,  where  he  represented  scenes  from  the 
Roman  carnival  and  the  life  in  Spanish  camps,  the  shore  of 
the  sea  and  the  joy  of  a  popular  merry-making,  with  countless 
figures  of  the  most  intense  vividness,  carried  out  with  an  un- 
rivalled execution  of  detail  which  is  yet  free  from  anything 
laboured,  and  full  of  splendour  and  glowing  colour,  these  indeed 
are  performances  of  painting  beside  which  as  a  musical  counter- 
part at  best  Paganini's  variations  on  the  G  string  are  com- 
parable— sleights  of  art  of  which  only  Pradilla  is  capable  in 
these  days,  and  such  as  only  Fortuny  painted  thirty  years  ago. 
In  this  marvellous  acrobat  of  the  pallet  the  strength  of  the 
Romance  genius  is  embodied.  He  not  only  prescribes  subject, 
technique,  and  colour  for  the  Spaniards  of  the  present,  but 
he  is  also  the  spiritual  ancestor  to  whom  modern  Italian 
painting  may  be  traced. 


VOL.  m. 


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CHAPTER   XXXVI 

ITALY 

Fortunes  influence  on  the  Italians,  especially  on  the  school  of  Naples, — 
Domenico  Morelli  and  his  followers:  F,  P.  Michetti,  Edoardo 
Dalbono^  Alceste  Camfriani,  Giacomo  di  ChiricOy  Rubens  Santoro, 
Edoardo  Toffano. — Prominence  of  the  costume-picture, —  Venice  : 
Favrettoy  Lonza, — Florence:  Andreotti,  Conti,  Gelli,  Vinea, — The 
peculiar  position  of  Segantini, — OtheT^wise  anecdotic  painting  still 
preponderates.— Chiericit  Rotta^  Vannuttelli,  Monteverde,  Tito, — 
Reasons  why  the  further  development  of  modern  art  was  generally 
completed  not  so  much  on  Latin  as  on  Germanic  soil, 

THE  sun  of  Italy  has  not  grown  paler  ;  the  Gulf  of  Baiae 
shines  with  its  old  brightness ;  the  mighty  oaks  of  Lerici 
still  grow  luxuriantly ;  the  marvels  of  Michael  Angelo  and  Titian 
still  hang  in  the  galleries  ;  and  it  is  only  the  painting  of  Italy 
that  has  nothing  any  longer  of  that  lofty  majesty  in  the  shadow 
of  which  the  world  lay  in  the  sixteenth  century :  it  has  become 
petty,  worldly,  and  frivolous.  This  reflection  runs  through  most 
discussions  on  modern  Italian  pictures  as  a  burden  of  complaint, 
whereas  it  would  be  more  just  to  make  it  a  matter  of  praise 
for  the  moderns  that  they  should  differ  from  the  old  masters. 
To  compare  living  Italy  with  the  past,  to  hold  up  for  ever  the 
great  geniuses  of  old  time  as  figures  of  warning  before  the 
painters  of  the  present,  were  to  condemn  the  latter  to  a  stationary 
condition,  to  the  activity  of  mere  copyists.  It  is  a  sign  of  power 
and  self- consciousness  that,  instead  of  copying  their  great 
masters,  they  have  founded  a  new  and  original  school  by  their 
own  efforts— that,  even  in  this  country,  where  the  artist  is 
oppressed    by    the    wealth    of    old    masterpieces,    painting    has 


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ITALY  91 

created  for  itself  a  style  of  its  own.  Italy  is  no  longer  eccle- 
siastical, no  longer  papal,  but  has  become  a  modem  and 
mundane  country,  a  new  nation.  This  is  reflected  in  Italian 
pictures.  They  are  vivid  and  joyous  like  the  Italian  people. 
And  to  have  won  this  freedom  is  the  merit  of  the  living  genera- 
tion. Even  at  the  World  Exhibition  of  1855  Edmond  About 
called  Italy  "the  grave  of  painting"  in  his  Voyage  a  travers 
r Exposition  des  Beaux-Arts,  He  mentions  a  few  Piedmontesc 
professors,  but  about  Florence,  Naples,  and  Rome  he  found 
nothing  to  say.  "And  Venice?"  he  queries  at  the  end.  "Venice 
is  situated  in  Austria."  The  Great  Exhibition  of  1862  in  England 
was  productive  of  no  more  favourable  criticism,  for  W.  Burger's 
account  is  as  little  consolatory  as  About *s.  '*  Renowned  Italy 
and  proud  Spain,"  writes  Burger,  "have  no  longer  any  painters 
who  can  rival  those  of  other  schools.  There  is  nothing  to  be 
said  about  the  rooms  where  the  Italians,  Spanish,  and  Swiss 
are  exhibited."  It  was  only  at  the  World  Exhibition  of  1867, 
after  the  young  kingdom  had  been  founded,  that  tendencies 
towards  a  certain  elevation  were  displayed,  and  now  Italy  has 
a  throng  of  vigorous  painters.  In  Angelo  de  Gubernati's  lexicon 
of  artists  there  are  over  two  thousand  names,  some  of  which 
are  favourably  known  in  other  countries  also.  Italia  fard  da  sc 
has  likewise  become  a  saying  in  art. 

Whether  it  be  from  direct  influence  or  similarity  of  origin, 
Fortuny  has  found  his  ablest  successors  amongst  the  Neapolitan 
artists.  As  early  as  the  seventeenth  century  the  school  of 
painting  there  was  very  different  from  those  in  the  rest  of  Italy ; 
the  Greek  blood  of  the  population  and  the  wild,  romantic 
scenery  of  the  Abruzzi  gave  it  a  peculiar  stamp.  Southern  brio, 
the  joy  of  life,  colour,  and  warmth,  in  contrast  with  the  noble 
Roman  ideal  of  form,  were  the  qualities  of  Salvator  Rosa,  Luca 
Giordano,  and  Ribera,  bold  and  fiery  spirits.  And  a  breath  of 
such  power  seems  to  live  in  their  descendants  still.  Even  now- 
Neapolitan  painting  sings,  dances,  and  laughs  in  a  bacchanal  of 
colour,  pleasure,  delight  in  life,  and  glowing  sunshine. 

A  wild  and  restless  spirit,  Domenico  Morelli,  whose  biograph>' 
is  like  a  chapter  from   Rinaldo  Rinaldini,    is   the   head   of  this 


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MODERN  PAINTING 


KuHst  fur  All*.] 


MoRELLi:   "The  Temptation  of  St.  Anthony." 


Neapolitan  school.  He  was  born  on  August  4th,  1826,  and  in 
his  youth  he  is  said  to  have  been,  first  a  pupil  in  a  seminary  of 
priests,  then  an  apprentice  with  a  mechanician,  and  for  some 
time  even  facchino.  He  never  saw  such  a  thing  as  an  academy. 
Indeed  it  was  a  Bohemian  life  that  he  led,  taking  his  meals  on 
bread  and  cheese,  wandering  for  weeks  together  with  Byron's 
poems  in  his  pocket  upon  the  seashore  between  Posilippo  and 
Baiae.  In  1848  he  fought  against  King  Ferdinand,  and  was  left 
severely  wounded  on  the  battle-field.  After  these  episodes  of 
youth  he  first  became  a  painter,  beginning  his  career  in  1855 
with  the  large  picture  "The  Iconoclasts,"  followed  in  1857  by 
a  "Tasso,"  and  in  1858  by  a  "Saul  and  David."  Biblical 
pictures  remained  his  province  even  later,  and  he  was  the  only 
artist  in  Italy  who  handled  these  subjects  from  an  entirely 
novel  point  of  view,  pouring  into  them  a  peculiarly  exalted  and 
imaginative  spirit  A  Madonna  rocking  her  sleeping  Child, 
whilst  her  song  is  accompanied  by  a  legion  of  cherubs  playing 
upon  instruments,  "The  Reviling  of  Christ,"  "The  Ascension/' 
"The  Descent  from  the  Cross,"  "Christ  walking  on  the  Sea," 
"The  Raising  of  the  Daughter   of  Jairus,"   "The  Expulsion  of 


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the  Money-Changers  from 
the  Temple,"  "The  Marys 
at  the  Grave,"  "  Salve 
Regina,"  and  "  Mary 
Magdalen  meeting  Christ 
Risen  from  the  Grave," 
are  the  principal  stages  of 
his  great  Christian  epic, 
and  in  their  imaginative 
naturalism  a  new  revo- 
lutionary language  finds 
utterance  through  all  these 
pictures.  There  is  in  them 
at  times  something  of  the 
mystical  quietude  of  the 
East,  and  at  times  some- 
thing of  the  passionate 
breath  of  Eugene  Dela- 
croix. In  these  pictures 
he  revealed  himself  as  a 
true  child  of  the  land  of 
the  sun,  a  lover  of  paint- 
ing which  scintillates  and 
flickers.  As  yet  hard,  pon- 
derous, dark,  and  plastic 
in  "  The  Iconoclasts,"  he 
was  a  worshipper  of  light 
and  resplendent  in  colour 
in  the  "Mary  Magdalen." 

"The  Temptation  of  St.  Anthony"  probably  marks  the  summit 
of  his  creative  power  in  the  matter  of  colour.  Morelli  has  con- 
ceived the  whole  temptation  as  an  hallucination.  The  saint 
squats  upon  the  ground,  claws  with  his  fingers,  and  closes  his 
eyes  to  protect  himself  from  the  thoughts,  full  of  craving  sen- 
suality, which  are  flaming  in  him.  Yet  they  throng  ever  more 
thickly,  take  shape  ever  more  distinctly,  are  transformed  into 
red-haired  women  who  detach  themselves  from  corners   upon  all 


Kunsifiir  AiU.} 

MicHETTi:   "The  Corpus  Domini  Procession 
AT  Chieti." 


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94  MODERN  PAINTING 


iUan/stangl  helio, 
MicHETTX :   "  Going  to  Church." 


sides.  They  rise  from  beneath  the  matting,  wind  nearer  from 
the  depth  of  the  cavern,  even  the  breeze  caressing  the  fevered 
brow  of  the  tormented  man  changes  into  the  head  of  a  kissing 
girl.  Only  Naples  could  produce  an  artist  at  once  so  bizarre, 
so  many-sided  and  incoherent,  so  opulent  and  strange.  Younger 
men  of  talent  trooped  around  him.  A  fiery  spirit,  haughty  and 
independent,  he  became  the  teacher  of  all  the  younger  genera- 
tion. He  led  them  to  behold  the  sun  and  the  sea,  to  marvel 
at  nature  in  her  radiant  brightness.  Through  him  the  joy  in 
light  and  colour  came  into  Neapolitan  painting,  that  rejoicing 
in  colour  which  touches  such  laughing  concords  in  the  works  of 
his  pupil  Pao/o  Michetti, 

A  man  of  bold  and  magnificent  talent,  the  genuine  product 
of  the  wild  Abruzzi,  Michetti  was  the  son  of  a  day-labourer, 
like  Morelli.  However,  a  man  of  position  became  the  protector 
of  the  boy,  who  was  early  left  an  orphan.  But  neither  at  the 
Academy  at  Naples,  nor  in  Paris  and  London,  did  this  continue 
long.  As  early  as  1876  he  was  back  in  Naples,  and  settled 
amid  the  Abruzzi,  close  to  the  Adriatic,  in  Francavilla  a  Mare, 
near  Ostona,  a  little  nest  passed  just  before  the  traveller  goes 
on  board  the  Oriental  steamer  in  Brindisi.  Here  he  lives  out 
of  touch  with  old  pictures,  in  the  thick  of  the  vigorous  life  of 
the  Italian  people.  In  1877  he  painted  the  work  which  laid 
the  foundation  of  his  celebrity,  "  The  Corpus  Domini  Procession 
at  Chieti,"  a  picture  which  rose  like  a  firework  in  its  boisterous, 
rejoicing,  and  glaring  motleyness   of   colour.      The   procession  is 


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ITALY  95 

seen  just  coming  out  of  church  :  men,  women,  naked  children, 
monks,  priests,  a  canopy,  choristers  with  censers,  old  men  and 
youths,  people  who  kneel  and  people  who  laugh,  the  mist  of 
incense,  the  beams  of  the  sun,  flowers  scattered  on  the  ground, 
a  band  of  musicians,  and  a  church  facade  with  rich  and  many- 
coloured  ornaments.  There  is  the  play  of  variously  hued  silk, 
and  colours  sparkle  in  all  the  tints  of  the  prism.  Everything 
laughs,  the  faces  and  the  costumes,  the  flowers  and  the  sun- 
beams. Following  upon  this  came  a  picture  which  he  called 
"Spring  and  the  Loves."  It  represented  a  desolate  promontory 
in  the  blue  sea,  and  upon  it  a  troop  of  Cupids,  playing  round 
a  blooming  hedge  of  hawthorn,  are  scuffling,  buffeting  each 
other,  and  leaping  more  riotously  than  the  Neapolitan  street- 
boys.  Some  were  arrayed  like  little  Japanese,  some  like  Grecian 
terra-cotta  figures,  whilst  a  marble  bridge  in  the  neighbourhood 
was  shining  in  indigo  blue.  The  whole  picture  gleamed  with 
red,  blue,  green,  and  yellow  patches  of  colour :  a  serpentine  dance 
painted  twelve  years  before  the  appearance  of  Loie  Fuller.  Then 
he  painted  the  sea  again.  It  is  noon,  and  the  sultry  heat  broods 
over  the  azure  tide.  Naked  fishermen  are  standing  in  it,  and 
on  the  shore  gaily  dressed  women  are  searching  for  muscles  ; 
whilst  in  the  background  vessels,  with  the  sun  playing  on  their 
sails,  are  mirrored  brightly  in  the  water.  Or  the  moon  is  rising 
and  casts  greenish  reflections  upon  the  body  of  Christ,  which 
shines  like  phosphorus  as  it  is  being  taken  from  the  cross  :  or 
there  is  a  flowery  landscape  upon  a  summer  evening  ;  birds  are 
making  their  nest  for  the  night,  and  little  angels  are  kissing 
each  other  and  laughing.  In  all  these  pictures  Michetti  showed 
himself  an  improviser  of  astonishing  dexterity,  solving  every 
difficulty  as  though  it  were  child's  play,  and  shedding  a  brilliant 
colour  over  everything  —  a  man  to  whom  "  painting "  was  as 
much  a  matter  of  course  as  orthography  is  to  ourselves.  Even 
the  Paris  World  Exhibition  of  1878  made  him  celebrated  as  an 
artist,  and  from  that  time  his  name  was  to  the  Italian  ear  a 
symbol  for  something  new,  unexpected,  wild,  and  extravagant 
The  word  "Michetti"  means  splendid  materials,' dazzling  flesh- 
tones,  conflicting  hues  set  with  intention  beside  each  other,  the 


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96  MODERN  PAINTING 

luxuriant  bodies  of  women  basking  in  heat  and  sun,  fantastic 
landscapes  created  in  the  mad  brain  of  the  artist,  strange  and 
curious  frames,  and  village  idylls  in  the  glowing  blaze  of  the 
sun.  There  are  no  lifeless  spots  in  his  works;  every  whim  of 
his  takes  shape,  as  if  by  sorcery,  in  splendid  figures. 

Another  pupil  of  Morelli,  Edoardo  Dalbono^  completed  his 
duty  to  history  by  a  scene  of  horror  a  la  Laurens,  "The 
Excommunication  of  King  Manfred,"  and  then  became  the 
painter  of  the  Bay  of  Naples.  "The  Isle  of  Sirens*'  was  the 
first  production  of  his  able,  appetizing,  and  nervously  vibrating 
brush.  There  is  a  steep  cliff  dropping  sheer  into  the  blue  sea. 
Two  antique  craft  are  drawing  near,  the  crews  taking  no  heed 
of  the  reefs  and  sandbanks.  With  phantom-like  gesture  the 
naked  women  stretch  out  their  arms  beckoning,  embodiments 
as  they  are  of  the  deadly  beautiful  and  voluptuously  cruel 
ocean.  By  degrees  the  sea  betrayed  to  him  all  its  secrets — its 
strangest  combinations  of  colour  and  atmospheric  effects,  its 
transparency,  and  its  eternally  shifting  phases  of  ebb  and  flow. 
He  has  painted  the  Bay  of  Naples  under  bright,  hot  noon  and 
the  gloom  of  night,  in  the  purple  light  of  the  sinking  sun,  and 
in  the  strange  and  many-coloured  mood  of  twilight.  At  one 
moment  it  shines  and  plays  variegated  and  joyous  in  blue, 
grass-green,  and  violet  tones ;  at  another  it  seems  to  glitter 
with  millions  of  phosphorescent  sparks :  and  the  rosy  clouds  of 
the  sky  are  glassed  in  it,  and  the  lights  of  the  hou.ses  irregularly 
dotted  over  abrupt  mountain-chains,  or  the  dark-red  glow  of 
lava  luridly  shining  from  Vesuvius.  Now  and  then  he  painted 
scenes  from  Neapolitan  street-life — old,  weather-beaten  seamen, 
young  sailors  with  features  as  sharply  cut  as  if  cast  in  bronze, 
beautiful,  fiery,  brown  women,  shooting  the  hot  Southern  flame 
from  their  eyes,  houses  painted  white  or  orange-yellow,  in 
the  windows  of  which  the  sun  is  glittering.  The  "Voto  alia 
Madonna  der  Carmine"  was  the  most  comprehensive  of  these 
Southern  pictures.  Everything  shines  in  joyous  blue,  yellowish- 
green,  and  red  colours.  Warmth,  life,  light,  brilliancy,  and 
laughter  are  the  elements  on  which  his  art  is  based. 

Alceste  Campriani,  Giacamo  di  Chirico^  Rubens  SantorOy  Federigo 


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ITALY  97 

Cortese^  Francesco  Nettiy  Edoardo 
Toffano^  Giuseppe  de  NigriSy  have, 
all  of  them,  this  kaleidoscopic 
sparkle,  this  method  of  painting 
which  gives  pictures  the  appear- 
ance of  being  mosaics  of  precious 
stones.  As  in  the  days  of  the 
Renaissance,  the  Church  is  usually 
the  scene  of  action,  though  not 
any  longer  as  the  house  of  God, 
but  as  the  background  of  a 
coloured  throng.  As  a  rule  these 
pictures  contain  a  crowd  of  cano- 
pies, priests  and  choristers,  and  Giacomo  FAVRErto. 
country-folk,  bowing  or  kneeling 

when  the  host  is  carried  by,  or  weddings,  horse-races,  and  country 
festivals ;  and  everything  is  vivid  and  joyous  in  colour,  saturated 
with  the  glowing  sun  of  Naples.  Alceste  Campriani's  chief  work 
was  entitled  "The  Return  from  Montevergine."  Carriages  and 
open  rack-waggons  are  dashing  along,  the  horses  snorting  and 
the  drivers  smacking  their  whips,  while  the  peasants,  who  have 
had  their  fill  of  sweet  wine,  are  shouting  and  singing,  and  the 
orange-sellers  in  the  street  are  crying  their  goods  at  a  cheap  price. 
A  coquettish,  glancing  light  plays  over  the  gay  costumes,  and 
the  white  dust  sparkles  like  fluid  silver,  as  it  rises  beneath  the 
hoofs  of  the  horses  wildly  plunging  forward.  The  leading  work 
of  Giacomo  di  Chirico,  who  became  mad  in  1883,  was  "A 
Wedding  in  the  Basilicata."  It  represents  a  motley  crowd.  The 
entire  village  has  set  out  to  see  the  ceremony.  The  wedding- 
guests  are  descending  the  church  steps  to  the  square,  which  is 
decked  out  with  coloured  carpets  and  strewn  with  flowers. 
Triumphal  arches  have  been  built,  and  the  pictures  of  the 
Madonna  are  hung  with  garlands.  Meanwhile  the  sindaco 
gives  his  arm  to  the  bride,  beneath  whose  gay  costume  a  charm- 
ingly graceful  little  foot  is  peeping  out.  Then  the  bridegroom 
follows  with  the  sindaco's  wife.  With  curiosity  all  the  village 
girls  are  looking  on,  and  the  musicians  are  playing.     Winter  has 


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MODERN  PAINTING 


Favretto:   "On  the  Piazzetta." 


IHan/itaHgi  hclw. 


covered  the  square  with  a  white  cloak  of  snow ;  yet  the 
sunbeams  sport  over  it,  making  it  shine  vividly  with  a  thousand 
reflections. 

Of  course  the  derivation  of  all  these  pictures  is  easily  recog- 
nizable. Almost  all  the  Neapolitan  painters  studied  at  Fortuny's 
in  the  seventies  in  Rome,  and  when  they  came  home  again  they 
perceived  that  the  life  of  the  people  offered  themes  which  had  a 
coquettish  fitness  in  Fortuny's  scale  of  tones.  From  the  variously 
coloured  magnificence  of  old  churches,  the  red  robes  of  eccle- 
siastics, the  gaudy  splendour  of  the  country-people's  clothes,  and 
the  gay  glory  of  rags  amongst  the  Neapolitan  children,  they 
composed  a  modern  Rococo,  rejoicing  in  colour,  whilst  the 
Spaniard  had  fled  to  the  past  to  attain  his  gleaming  eflfects. 

A  great  number  of  the  Italians  do  the  same  even  now.  In 
numerous  costume-pictures  from  the  seventeenth  and  eighteenth 
centuries,  flashing  with  silk  and  velvet,  the  Southerner's  bright 
pleasure  in  colour  still  loves  to  celebrate  its  orgies.  Gay  trains 
rustle,  rosy  Loves  laugh  down  from  the  walls,  Venetian  chandeliers 
shed  their  radiance ;  no  other  epoch  in  history  enables  the  painter 
with  so  much  ease  to  produce  juicily  blooming,  full-toned  chords 
of  colour.  With  his  shining  glow  of  hue,  the  appetizing  and 
spirited  Favretto  (who,  like  Fortuny,  entered  the  world  of  art  as 
a  victor,  and,  like  him  again,  was  snatched  from  it!  when  barely 


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99 


Favretto:   *' Susanna  and  the  Elders." 


iHanfstdMgi  helio^ 


thirty-seven,  after  a  brief  and  brilliant  career)  stands  at  the  head 
of  this  group.  The  child  of  poor  parents,  indeed  the  son  of  a 
joiner,  he  was  born  in  Venice  in  1849,  and,  like  the  Spaniard, 
passed  a  youth  which  was  full  of  privations.  But  all  the  cares 
of  existence,  even  the  loss  of  an  eye,  did  not  hinder  him  from 
seeing  objects  under  a  laughing  brightness  of  colour.  Through 
his  studies  and  the  bent  of  his  fancy  he  had  come  to  be  no  less  at 
home  in  the  Venice  of  the  eighteenth  century  than  in  that  of  his 
own  time.  This  Venice  of  Francesco  Guardi,  this  city  of  en- 
chantment surrounded  with  the  gleam  of  olden  splendour,  the 
scene  of  rich  and  brilliantly  coloured  banquets  and  a  graceful 
and  modish  society,  rose  once  more  under  Favretto*s  hands  in 
fabulous  beauty.  What  brio  of  technique,  what  harmony  of 
colours,  were  to  be  found  in  the  picture  "  Un  Incontro,"  the 
charming  scene  upon  the  Rialto  Bridge,  with  the  bowing  cavalier 
and  the  lady  coquettishly  making  her  acknowledgments  !  This 
was  the  first  picture  which  gave  him  a  name  in  the  world.  What 
fanfares  of  colour  were  in  the  two  next  pictures,  "  Banco  Lotto  " 
and  "  Erbajuolo  Veneziano " !  At  the  exhibition  in  Turin  in 
1883   he  was  represented   by   "The   Bath"   and   "Susanna  and 


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MODERN  PAINTING 


mcnt  of  the  Piazzetta  at  the  hour  of  the  promenade,  from  the  Doge's 
palace  to  the  h'brary,  and  from  the  Square  of  St  Mark  to  the 
pillar  of  the  lions  and  Theodore,  to  and  fro  in  surging  life.  Men 
put  up  their  glasses  and  chivalrously  greeted  the  queens  of 
beauty.  The  enchanting  magic  building  of  Sansovino,  the  loggetta 
with  their  bright  marble  pillars,  bronze  statues  of  blackish  grey, 
and  magnificent  lattice  doors,  formed  the  background  of  the 
standing  and  sauntering  groups,  whose  variegated  costumes 
united  with  the  tones  of  marble  and  bronze  to  make  a  most 
beautiful  assemblage  of  colours.  Favretto  had  a  manner  of  his 
own,  and,  although  a  member  of  the  school  of  Fortuny,  he  was 
stronger  and  healthier  than  the  latter.  He  drew  like  a  genuine 
painter,  without  having  too  much  of  the  Fortuny  fireworks.  His 
soft,  rich  painting  was  that  of  a  colourist  of  distinction,  always 
tasteful,  exquisite  in  tone,  and  light  and  appetizing  in  technique. 


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lOI 


Munich  Phoiographic  Union.] 

CoNTi:  "The  Lutk-Player.'* 


By  the  other 
Italian  cos- 
tume -  painters 
the  scale  run 
through  by 
Fortuny  was 
not  enriched 
by  new  notea 
Most  of  their 
pictures  are 
nugatory,  co- 
quettishly 
sportive  toys, 
masterly  in 
technique      no 

doubt,  but  so  empty  of  substance  that  they  vanish  from  memory 
like  novels  read  upon  a  railway  journey.  Many  have  no  greater 
import  than  dresses,  cloaks,  and  hats  worn  by  ladies  during 
a  few  weeks  of  the  season.  Sometimes  their  significance  is  not 
even  so  great,  since  there  are  modistes  and  dressmakers  who 
have  more  skill  in  making  ruches  and  giving  the  right  nuance 
to  colours.  Some  small  part  of  Favretto's  refined  taste  seems 
to  have  been  communicated  to  the  Venetian  Antonio  Lonza^  who 
delights  in  mingling  the  gleaming  splendour  of  Oriental  carpets, 
fans,  and  screens  amid  the  motley,  picturesque  costumes  of  the 
Rococo  period — Japanese  who  perform  as  jugglers  and  knife- 
throwers  in  quaint  Rococo  gardens  before  the  old  Venetian 
nobility.  But  the  centre  of  this  costume-painting  is  Florence, 
and  the  great  mart  for  it  the  Societh  artistica^  where  there  are 
yearly  exhibitions. 

Francesco  Vinea,  Tito  Conti,  Federigo  Andreotti,  and  Edoardo 
Gelli  are  in  Italy  the  special  manufacturers  who  have  devoted 
themselves,  with  the  assistance  of  Meissonier,  G6r6me,  and  For- 
tuny, to  scenes  from  the  sixteenth  and  seventeenth  centuries, 
to  plumed  hats,  Wallenstein  boots,  and  horsemen's  capes,  to 
Renaissance  lords  and  laughing  Renaissance  ladies,  and  they 
have  thereby  won  great  recognition  in   Germany.      Pretty,  Ian- 


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guishing  women  in  richly 
coloured  costumes,  tippling 
soldiers  and  gallant  cava- 
liers, laughing  peasant 
women  and  trim  serving- 
girls  drawing  wine  in  the 
cellar-vaults  and  setting 
it  before  a  trooper,  who 
in  gratitude  affectionately 
puts  his  arm  round  their 
waist,  beautiful  and  still 
more  languishing  noble 
ladies,  who  laugh  with  a 
parrot  or  a  dog  instead  of 
the  trooper  in  apartments 
richly  furnished  with  Gobe- 
lins—  such  for  the  most 
part  are  the  subjects 
treated  by  Francesco  Vinea 
with  great  virtuosity  bor- 
dering on  the  routine  of  a  typewriter.  His  technique  is  neither 
refined  nor  fascinating ;  the  colours  are  so  crude  that  they 
affect  the  eye  as  a  false  note  the  ear.  But  the  mechanical 
power  of  his  painting  is  great.  He  has  much  ability,  far  more 
indeed  than  Sichel,  and  possesses  the  secret  of  painting,  in  an 
astonishing  manner,  the  famous  lace  kerchiefs  wound  round  the 
heads  of  his  fair  ones.  Andreotti  and  Tito  Conti  work  in  the 
same  fashion,  except  that  the  ballad-singers  and  rustic  idylls 
of  Andreotti  are  the  smoother  and  more  mawkish,  whereas  the 
pictures  of  Conti  make  a  somewhat  more  refined  and  artistic 
effect.  His  colour  is  superior  and  more  transparent,  and  his 
tapestry  backgrounds  are  warmer. 

And,  so  far  as  one  can  judge  from  their  pictures,  life  runs 
as  merrily  for  the  Italians  of  the  present  as  it  did  for  those 
Rococo  cavaliers.  Hanging  here  and  there  beside  the  serious 
art  of  other  nations,  these  little  picture-people  enjoy  their  care- 
less  tinsel   pomp  ;    art   is   a  gay  thing  for   them,  as  gay  as   a 


Tito:   "The  Slipper-Seller.' 


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103 


Brothers  sc. 


Segantini  :   "  The  Punishment  of  Luxury." 


Sunday  afterncK>n  with  a  procession  and  fireworks,  walks  and 
sips  of  sherbet,  to  an  Italian  woman.  By  the  side  of  the  blue- 
plush  and  red-velvet  costume-picture  comic  £'enre  still  holds  its 
sway  :  barbaric  in  colour  and  with  materials  which  are  merrier 
than  is  appropriate  in  tasteful  pictures,  Gcetano  Chierici  repre- 
sents children,  both  good  and  naughty,  making  their  appearance 
upon  a  tiny  theatre.  Antonio  Rotta  renders  comic  episodes  from 
the  life  of  Venetian  cobblers  and  the  menders  of  nets.  Scipione 
Vannuttellt  paints  young  girls  in  white  dresses  arrayed  as  nuns 
or  being  confirmed  in  church.  Francesco  Monteverde  rejoices  in 
comical  intermezzi  in  the  style  of  Griitzner— for  instance,  an 
ecclesiastical  gentleman  observing,  to  his  horror,  that  his  pretty 
young  servant-girl  is  being  kissed  by  a  smart  lad  in  the  yard.  This 
is  more  or  less  his  style  of  subject  Ettore  Tito  paints  the  pretty 
Venetian  laundresses  whom  Passini,  Cecil  van  Haanen,  Charles 
Ulrich,  Eugene  Blaas,  and  others  introduced  into  art.  Some  also 
struck  deeper  notes.  Luigi  Nono,  in  Venice,  painted  his  beautiful 
picture  "  Refugium  Peccatorum  ; "  Ferragutti,  the  Milanese,  his 
**  Workers  in  the  Turnip  Field,"  a  vivid  study  of  sunlight  of  serious 
veracity  ;  and  more  recently  Giovanni  Segantini  has  come  forward 


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I04  MODERN  FAINTING 

with  some  very  uncommon  pieces,  in  which  he  demonstrated  that 
it  is  possible  for  a  man  to  be  an  Italian  and  yet  a  serious  artist 

Segantini's  biography  is  like  a  novel.  Born  the  child  of  poor 
parents,  in  Arco,  in  1858,  he  was  left,  after  the  death  of  his 
parents,  to  the  care  of  a  relative  in  Milan,  with  whom  he  passed 
a  most  unhappy  time.  He  then  wanted  to  make  his  fortune  in 
France,  and  set  out  upon  foot ;  but  he  did  not  get  very  far,  and, 
indeed,  took  a  situation  as  a  swine-herd  beneath  a  land-steward. 
After  this  he  lived  for  a  whole  year  alone  in  the  wild  mountains, 
worked  in  the  field,  the  stable,  the  barn.  Then  came  the  well- 
known  discovery,  which  one  could  not  believe  were  it  not  to  be 
read  in  Gubernati.  One  day  he  drew  the  finest  of  his  pigs  with 
a  piece  of  charcoal  upon  a  mass  of  rock.  The  peasants  ran  in  a 
crowd  and  took  the  block  of  stone,  together  with  the  young 
Giotto,  in  triumph  to  the  village.  He  was  given  assistance, 
visited  the  School  of  Art  in  Milan,  and  now  paints  the  things 
he  did  in  his  youth.  A  thousand  metres  across  the  sea,  in  a 
secluded  village  of  the  Alps,  Val  d'Albola  in  Switzerland,  amid 
the  grand  and  lofty  mountains,  he  settled  down,  surrounded 
only  by  the  peasants  who  extort  their  livelihood  from  the  soil. 
Out  of  touch  with  the  world  of  artists  the  whole  year  round, 
observing  great  nature  at  every  season  and  every  hour  of  the 
day,  fresh  and  straightforward  in  character,  he  is  one  of  those 
natures  of  the  type  of  Millet,  in  whom  heart  and  hand,  man 
and  artist,  are  one  and  the  same  thing.  His  shepherd  and 
peasant  scenes  from  the  valleys  of  the  high  Alps  are  free  from 
all  flavour  of  genre.  The  life  of  these  poor  and  humble  beings 
passes  without  contrasts  and  passions,  being  spent  altogether 
in  work,  which  fills  the  long  course  of  the  day  in  monotonous 
regularity.  The  sky  sparkles  with  a  sharp  brilliancy.  The 
spiky  yellow  and  tender  green  of  the  fields  forces  its  way 
modestly  from  the  rocky  ground.  In  front  is  something  like 
a  hedge  where  a  cow  is  grazing,  or  there  is  a  shepherdess 
giving  pasture  to  her  sheep.  Something  majestic  there  is  in 
this  cold  nature,  where  the  sunshine  is  so  sharp,  the  air  so  thin. 
And  the  primitive,  it  might  almost  be  said  antique,  execution 
of  these   pictures   is   in   accord   with   the  primitive  simplicity  of 


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ITALY    .  los 

the  subjects.  In  fact  Segantini's  pictures,  with  their  cold  silvery- 
colours,  and  their  contours  so  sharp  in  outlines,  standing  out 
hard  against  the  rarified  air,  make  an  impression  like  encaustic 
paintings  in  wax,  or  mosaics.  They  have  nothing  alluring  or 
pleasing,  and  there  is,  perhaps,  even  a  touch  of  mannerism  in 
this  mosaic  painting ;  but  they  are  nevertheless  exceedingly  true, 
rugged,  austere,  and  yet  sunny,  and  as  soon  as  one  has  seen 
them  one  begins  to  admire  an  artist  who  pursues  untrodden 
paths  alone.  There  is  something  Northern  and  virginal,  some- 
thing earnest  and  grandiose,  which  stands  in  strange  contrast 
with  the  joyful,  conventional  smile  which  is  otherwise  spread 
over  the  countenance  of  Italian  painting. 

With  the  exception  of  Segantini,  not  one  of  these  painters 
will  own  that  there  are  poverty-stricken  and  miserable  people 
in  his  native  land.  An  everlasting  blue  sky  still  laughs  over 
Italy,  merely  sunshine  and  the  joy  of  life  rule  still  over 
Italian  pictures.  There  is  no  work  in  sunny  Italy,  and  in  spite 
of  that  there  is  no  hunger.  Even  where  work  is  being  done, 
there  are  assembled  only  the  fairest  girls  of  Lombardy,  who 
kneel  laughing  and  jesting  on  the  strand,  while  the  wind  dallies 
with  their  clothes.  They  have  a  special  delight  for  showing 
themselves  while  engaged  at  their  toilette,  in  a  bodice,  their  little 
feet  in  neat  little  slippers,  their  naked  arms  raised  to  arrange 
their  red-gold  hair.  As  a  rule,  however,  they  do  nothing  what- 
ever but  smile  at  you  with  their  most  seductive  smile,  which 
shows  their  pearl-white  teeth,  and  ensnares  every  poor  devil 
who  does  not  suspect  that  they  have  smiled  for  years  in  the 
same  way,  and  most  of  all  with  him  who  pays  highest :  '^faime 
les  kontmes  parce  que  faime  les  truffesr  These  pictures  are  almost 
throughout  works  which  are  well  able  to  give  pleasure  to  their 
possessor,  only  they  seldom  suggest  discussion  on  the  course 
of  art.  Trop  de  marchandise  is  the  phrase  generally  used  in 
the  Paris  Salon  when  the  Italians  come  under  consideration. 
Few  there  are  amongst  them  who  are  real  pioneers,  spirits 
pressing  seriously  forward  and  having  a  quickening  influence 
for  others.  The  vital  questions  of  the  painting  of  free  light. 
Impressionism,    and    Naturalism    do    not    interest    them    in   the 

VOL.  III.  8 


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io6  MODERN  PAINTING 

least.  A  naYve,  pleasant,  lively,  and  self-complacent  technique 
is  in  most  cases  the  solitary  charm  of  their  works.  One  feels 
scarcely  any  inclination  to  search  the  catalogue  for  the  painters 
name,  and  whether  the  beauty — for  she  is  not  the  first  of  her 
kind — who  was  called  Ninetta  last  year  has  now  become  Lisa. 
Most  of  these  modern  Italians  execute  their  pictures  in  the 
way  in  which  gold  pieces  are  minted,  or  in  the  way  in  which 
plastic  works,  which  run  through  so  many  editions,  are  produced 
in  Italy.  Nowhere  are  more  beautiful  laces  chiselled,  and  in 
the  same  manner  painters  render  the  shining  splendour  of  satin 
and  velvet,  the  glittering  brilliancy  of  ornaments,  and  the  starry 
radiance  of  the  beautiful  tyt:&  of  women.  Only  as  soon  as  one 
has  once  seen  them  one  knows  the  pictures  by  heart  as  one 
knows  the  works  in  marble,  and  this  is  so  because  the  painters 
had  them  by  heart  first  Everywhere  there  are  the  evidences 
of  talent,  industry,  ability,  and  spirit,  but  there  is  no  soul  in 
the  spirit  and  no  life  in  the  colours.  So  many  brilliant  tones 
stand  beside  each  other,  and  yet  there  is  neither  a  refined  tone 
nor  the  impression  of  truth  to  nature. 

In  all  this  art  of  theirs  there  is  scarcely  a  question  of  any 
serious  landscape.  Apart  from  the  works  of  some  of  the 
younger  men — for  instance,  Belloniy  Serra^  Gola^  Filippini^  and 
others,  who  display  an  intimacy  of  observation  which  is  worthy 
of  honour — a  really  close  connection  with  the  efforts  m^de 
across  the  Alps  is  not  achieved  in  these  days.  As  a  rule  the 
landscapes  are  mere  products  of  handicraft,  which  are  striking 
for  the  moment  by  their  technical  routine,  but  seldom  waken 
any  finer  feelings,  whether  the  Milanese  paint  the  dazzling 
effects  of  the  Alps,  or  the  Venetians  lagunes  steeped  in  light, 
with  gondolas  and  gondola-poles  glowing  in  the  sunshine,  or 
the  Neapolitans,  set  glittering  upon  the  canvas  their  beautiful 
bay  like  a  brilliant  firework.  Most  of  them  continue  to  pursue 
with  complete  self-satisfaction  the  flagged  gondola  of  Ziem  ;  the 
conquests  of  the  Fontainebleau  painters  and  of  the  Impressionists 
are  unnoticed  by  them. 

And  this  industrial  characteristic  of  Italian  painting  is 
sufficiently   explained    by   the    entire    character    of  the   country. 


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ITALY  107 

The  Italian  painter  is  not  properly  in  a  position  to  seek  effects 
of  his  own  and  to  make  experiments.  Hardly  anything  is 
bought  for  the  galleries,  and  there  are  few  collectors  of  superior 
taste.  He  labours  chiefly  for  the  traveller,  and  this  gives  his 
performances  the  stamp  of  attractive  mercantile  wares.  The 
Italian  is  too  much  a  man  of  business  to  undertake  great  trials 
of  strength  pour  le  rot  de  Prusse,  He  paints  no  great  pictures, 
which  would  be  still-born  children  in  his  home,  nor  does  he 
paint  severe  studies  of  plein-air^  preferring  a  specious,  exuberant, 
flickering,  and  glaring  revel  in  colour.  In  general  he  produces 
nothing  which  will  not  easily  sell,  and  has  a  fine  instinct  for 
the  taste  of  the  rich  travelling  public,  who  wish  to  see  nothing 
which  does  not  excite  cheerful  and  superficial  emotions. 

But  it  is  possible  that  this  decline  of  the  Latin  races  is 
connected  with  the  nature  of  modern  art  itself.  Of  late  the 
words  "Germanic"  and  "Latin"  have  been  much  abused.  It  has 
been  proclaimed  that  the  new  art  meant  the  victory  of  the 
German  depth  of  feeling  over  the  Latin  sense  of  form,  the 
onset  of  German  cordiality  against  the  empty  exaggeration  in 
which  the  imitation  of  the  Cinquecento  resulted.  Such  assertions 
are  always  hard  to  maintain,  because  every  century  shows  similar 
reactions  of  truth  to  nature  against  mannerism.  Nevertheless  is 
it  true  that  modern  art,  with  its  heartfelt  devotion  to  every- 
day life  and  the  mysteries  of  light,  has  an  essentially  Germanic 
character,  finding  its  ancestors  not  in  Raphael,  Michael  Angelo, 
and  Titian,  but  in  the  English  of  the  eighteenth,  the  Dutch  of 
the  seventeenth,  and  the  Germans  of  the  sixteenth  century.  The 
Italians  and  Spaniards,  whose  entire  intellectual  culture  rests  upon 
a  Latin  foundation,  may  therefore  find  it  difficult  to  follow  this 
change  of  taste.  They  either  adhere  to  the  old  bombastic  and 
theatrical  painting  of  history,  or  they  recast  the  new  painting 
in  an  external  drawing-room  art  draped  with  gaudy ,  tinsel. 
Even  in  France  the  rise  of  the  new  art  meant,  as  it  were,  the 
virtory  of  the  Prankish  element  over  the  Gallic.  Millet  the 
Norman,  Courbet  the  Frank,  Bastien-Lepage  of  Lorraine,  drove 
back  the  Latins  Ingres  and  Couture,  Cabanel  and  Bouguereau, 
just    as    in    the    eighteenth   century    the    Netherlander   Watteau 


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io8  MODERN  FAINTING 

broke  the  yoke  of  the  rigid  Latin  Classicism.  And  as  in  those 
days  Watteau  was  followed  by  Francois  Boucher,  who  was  more 
touched  by  the  Latin  spirit,  so  in  these  it  must  be  recognized 
that  the  youngest  generation  have  clothed  the  spirit  of  Germanic 
efforts  in  art  once  more  in  a  Latin  formula  In  external 
respects  French  art  is  still  the  most  imposing  in  the  world. 

What  esprit^  what  greatness  of  movement,  what  sovereign 
sureness  runs  through  their  works ;  and  how  provincial,  how 
painfully  embarrassed,  and  how  uncertain  seem  those  of  other 
nations  in  comparison!  The  French  artist,  therefore,  moves 
upon  the  floor  of  exhibitions  with  the  self-possession  of  a  man 
of  the  world,  who  has  grown  up  in  high-bred  circles,  in  whom 
all  the  finesses  of  social  life  are  part  and  parcel  of  his  very 
being,  and  who  is,  therefore,  always  a  model  in  matters  of  good 
taste.  The  greater  number  of  French  artists  are  interesting^ 
exuberant  in  talent,  novel,  and  piquant.  In  the  improvement 
of  technique — technique  absolute  and  as  a  thing  in  itself— lies 
the  historical  mission  of  the  French.  In  a  certain  sense  they 
are  almost  all  c/tercheurs.  They  grapple  with  the  problems 
of  colour,  of  the  reflections  of  light,  of  the  phases  of  atmo- 
sphere; and  in  putting  out  all  their  strength  to  master  these 
most  difficult  elements  of  the  phenomenal  world  and  to  paint 
them  with  the  utmost  illusion  of  reality,  they  have,  as  a  matter 
of  fact,  brought  painting — and  not  merely  that  of  the  nineteenth 
century — forward  by  some  degrees  as  regards  the  observation  of 
nature.  Upon  its  technical  side  they  have  taken  up  the  problem 
stated  by  Millet  and  Bastien-Lepage :  they  have  established  a 
kind  of  general  bass  of  modern  painting,  and  polished  and 
refined  its  technical  instruments  in  a  manner  hardly  to  be 
surpassed. 

But  where  is  the  spirit  of  the  new  art  to  be  found  ?  As  a 
spurious  historical  genre  came  in  the  wake  of  Delacroix,  the 
initiators  Courbet,  Manet,  and  Degas  have  been  multifariously 
succeeded  by  a  spurious  modern  genre.  Since  Dagnan-Bouveret 
an  element  has  once  more  forced  its  way  into  painting  which 
brings  realism  and  mawkishness  into  a  most  unpleasant  com- 
bination.    Even   anecdotic   painting  is   emerging   again  upon   all 


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ITALY  109 

sides.  The  very  being  of  Naturalism  has  in  many  respects 
vanished  in  company  with  the  ruggedness  peculiar  to  it  some 
years  ago,  while  of  all  that  movement  of  the  past  decades,  with 
its  effort  after  truth,  the  brightening  of  the  pallet  is  the  only 
thing  that  has  been  essentially  retained.  Everywhere  one  comes 
across  that  fascination  for  the  mind  which  is  always  given  by  a 
surprise,  something  which  creates  astonishment  at  the  boldness, 
be  it  greater  or  less,  with  which  difficult  tasks  connected  with 
the  rendering  of  nature  have  been  solved  in  painting.  But  the 
most  recent  French  painting — like  the  Spanish  and  Italian — 
has  few  impressions  to  offer  for  the  inmost  spirit 

These  threads  of  the  Germanic  aim  in  art  were  drawn  out 
only  by  the  Germanic  nations.  Whilst  the  French  are  still 
formalists  as  they  were  in  the  times  of  David,  the  Teutons  have 
used  the  better  technical  equipment  of  the  present  day  as  the 
means  for  expressing  the  deeper  emotions  of  life.  The  highest 
art  is  once  more  identical  with  simple  nature.  In  one  case 
there  is  the  form  of  art  bearing  the  impress  of  pictorial  point 
and  understanding;  in  the  other  it  is  endowed  with  substance 
and  a  soul.  In  one  case  a  striking  effect  is  made  by  brilliant 
technique,  mastery  of  the  manual  art  of  painting,  and  careless 
sway  over  all  the  enchantments  of  the  craft;  in  the  other  one 
stands  in  the  presence  of  an  art  which  is  so  natural  and  simple 
that  one  scarcely  thinks  of  the  means  by  which  it  was  called 
into  being.  In  one  case  there  is  virtuosity,  ductility,  and  grace ; 
in  the  other  health,  intrinsic  feeling,  and  temperament. 


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CHAPTER    XXXVII 

ENGLAND 

General  characteristic  of  English  fainting. — The  offshoots  of  Classicism  : 
Lord  Leighton,  Val  Prinstp,  Poynter,  Alma  Tadema. — Japanese  ten- 
dencies :  Albert  Moore. — The  animal  picture  with  antique  surround- 
ings:  Briton-Riviire. — The  old  genre  fainting  remodelled  in  a 
naturalistic  sense  by  George  Mason  and  Frederick  Walker.— George 
H,  Boughton^  Philip  H.  Calderon,  Marcus  Stone,  G.  D.  Leslie,  P.  G. 
Morris,  J.  R.  Reid,  Frank  Holl.^The  ^trait-painters:  OulesSr 
J.  %  Shannon,  James  Sant,  Charles  TV.  Furse,  Hubert  Herkomer.— 
Landscape-painters.  —  Zigzag  development  of  English  landscape- 
painting. — The  School  of  Fontainebleau  and  the  French  Impres- 
sionism rose  on  the  shoulders  of  Constable  and  Turner,  whereas 
England,  under  the  guidance  of  the  Preraphaelites,  deviated  in  the 
opposite  direction  until  prompted  by  France  to  return  to  the  old  path, — 
Cecil  Lawson,  James  Clarke  Hook,  Vicat  Cole,  Colin  Hunter,  John 
Brett,  Inchbold,  Leader,  Corbett^  Ernest  Parton,  Mark  Fisher,  John 
White,  Alfred  East,  J.  Aumonier.—The  sea-painters  :  Henry  Moore ^ 
W.L.  Wyllic—The  importance  of  Venice  for  English  painting:  Clara 
Montalba,  Luke  Fildes,  W,  Logsdail,  Henry  Woods.— French  in- 
fluences :  Dudley  Hardy,  Stott  of  Oldham,  Stanhope  Forbes. 

TO  English  painting  the  acquisitions  of  the  French  could 
now  give  little  that  was  radically  novel,  for  the  epoch- 
making  labours  of  the  Preraphaelites  were  already  in  existence. 
Apart  from  certain  cases  of  direct  borrowing,  it  has  either 
completely  preserved  its  autonomy,  or  recast  everything  assimi- 
lated from  France  in  a  specifically  English  fashion.  It  is  in 
art  indeed  as  it  is  with  men  themselves.  The  English  travel 
more  than  any  other  people,  for  travel  is  a  part  of  their 
education.  They  are  to  be  met  in  every  quarter  of  the  globe, 
in  Africa,  Asia,  America,  or  the  European  Continent,  and  they 
scarcely  need   to   open   their  mouths— even  from  a  distance — to 


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ENGLAND  iii 

betray  that  they  are  English.  In  the  same  way  there  is  no 
need  of  a  catalogue  at  exhibitions  to  recognize  all  English 
pictures  at  the  first  glance.  English  painting  is  too  English 
not  to  be  fond  of  travel.  The  painter  delights  in  reconnoitring 
all  other  schools  and  studying  all  styles ;  he  is  as  much  at 
home  in  the  past  as  in  the  present.  But  as  the  English 
tourist,  let  him  go  to  the  world's  end,  retains  everywhere  his 
own  customs,  taste,  and  habits,  so  English  painting,  even  on 
its  most  adventurous  journeys,  remains  unwaveringly  true  to  its 
national  spirit,  and  returns  from  all  its  wanderings  more  English 
than  before ;  it  adapts  what  is  alien  with  the  same  delicious 
abnegation  of  all  scruple  with  which  the  English  tongue  brings 
foreign  words  into  harmony  with  its  own  sense  of  convenience. 
A  certain  softness  of  feeling  and  tenderness  of  spirit  induce  the 
English  even  in  these  days  to  avoid  hard  contact  with  reality. 
Their  art  rejects  everything  in  nature  which  is  harsh,  rude^ 
and  brutal  ;  it  is  an  art  which  polishes  and  renders  the  reality 
poetic  at  the  risk  of  debilitating  its  power.  It  considers 
matters  from  the  standpoint  of  what  is  pretty,  touching,  or 
intelligible,  and  by  no  means  holds  that  everything  true  is 
necessarily  beautiful.  And  just  as  little  does  the  English  eye 
—so  much  occupied  with  detail — see  light  in  its  most  exquisite 
subtilties.  Indeed  it  rather  sees  the  isolated  fact  than  the 
total  harmony,  and  is  clearer  than  it  is  fine. 

For  this  reason  pkin-air  painting  has  very  few  adepts,  and 
the  atmospheric  influences  which  blunt  the  lines  of  objects, 
efface  colours,  and  bring  them  nearer  to  each  other,  meet  with 
no  consideration.  Things  are  given  all  the  sharpness  of  their 
outlines,  and  the  harmony,  which  in  the  French  follows 
naturally  from  the  observation  of  light  and  air  saturating  form 
and  colour,  is  the  *more  artificially  attained  by  everything 
being  brought  into  concord  in  a  bright  and  delicate  tone, 
which  is  almost  too  fine.  The  audacities  of  Impressionism  are 
excluded,  because  painting  which  starts  from  a  masterly  seizure 
of  total  effect  would  seem  too  sketchy  to  English  taste,  which 
has  been  formed  by  Ruskin.  Painting  must  be  highly  finished 
and   highly   elaborated ;    that   is   a  conditio  sine  qua  non  which 


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MODERN  PAINTING 


Lord  Leighton,  P.R.A. 


English  taste  refuses  to  re- 
nounce in  oil-painting  as 
little  as  in  water-colour,  and 
in  England  they  are  more 
narrowly  related  than  else- 
where, and  have  mutually 
influenced  each  other  in  the 
matter  of  technique.  In 
fact  English  water-colours 
seek  to  rival  oil-painting 
in  force  and  precision,  and 
have  therefore  forfeited  the 
charm  of  improvization,  the 
verve  of  the  first  jet,  and 
the  freshness  and  ease  which 
they  should  have  by  their 
very  character.  Through  a 
curious  change  of  parts  oil- 
painting  has  a  fancy  for 
borrowing  from  water-colours  their  effects  and  their  processes. 
English  pictures  have  no  longer  anything  heavy  or  oily,  but 
they  likewise  .show  nothing  of  the  manipulation  of  the  brush, 
rather  resembling  large  water-colours,  perhaps  even  pastels  or 
wax-painting.  The  colours  are  chosen  with  reserve,  and  every- 
thing is  subdued  and  softened  like  the  quiet  step  of  the  footman 
in  the  mansion  of  a  nobleman.  The  special  quality  in  all 
English  pictures — putting  aside  a  preference  for  bright  yellow 
and  vivid  red  in  the  older  period — consists  in  a  bluish  or 
greenish  luminous  general  tone,  to  which  every  English  painter 
seems  to  conform  as  though  it  were  a  binding  social  convention, 
and  it  even  recurs  in  English  landscapes.  In  fact  English 
painting  differs  from   French  as  England  from   France. 

France  is  a  great  city,  and  the  name  of  this  city  is  Paris. 
Here,  and  not  in  the  provinces,  lives  that  fashionable,  thinking 
world  which  has  become  the  guide  of  the  nation  and  the 
censor  of  beauty,  by  the  refinement  of  its  taste  and  its  pre- 
eminent intelkct.     The  ideas  which  fly  throughout  the  land  upon 


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ENGLAND 


"3 


Portfofio,']  iFlamtng  sc, 

Leighton:  Sir  Richard  Burton. 


invisible  wires  are  born  in 
Paris.  Painting,  likewise, 
receives  them  at  first 
hand.  It  stands  amid 
the  seething  whirlpool  of 
the  age,  the  heart's-blood 
of  the  present  streams 
through  all  its  veins,  and 
there  is  nothing  human 
that  is  alien  to  it,  neither 
the  filth  nor  the  splendour 
of  life,  its  laughter  nor  its 
misery.  All  the  nerves  of 
the  great  city  are  vibrat- 
ing in  it  Paris  has  made 
her  people  refined  and,  at 
the  same  time,  insatiate 
in  enjoyment.     Every  day 

they  have  need  of  new  impressions  and  new  theories  to  ward 
off  tedium.  And  thus  is  explained  the  universally  compre- 
hensive sphere  of  subject  in  French  painting,  and  its  feverish 
versatility  in  technique. 

But  London  has,  in  no  sense,  the  importance  for  England 
which  Paris  has  for  France.  It  is  a  centre  of  attraction  for 
business ;  but  the  more  refined  classes  of  society  live  in  the 
country.  As  soon  as  one  is  off  in  the  Dover  express  country- 
houses  fly  past  on  either  side  of  the  train.  They  are  all  over 
England — upon  the  shores  of  the  lakes,  upon  the  strand  of  the 
.sea,  upon  the  tops  of  the  hills.  And  how  pleasant  they  are, 
how  well  appointed,  how  delightful  to  look  at,  with  their  gabled 
roofs  and  their  gleaming  brickwork  overgrown  with  ivy !  Around 
them  stretches  a  fresh  lawn  which  is  rolled  every  morning,  as 
soft  as  velvet.  Fat  oxen,  and  sheep  as  white  as  if  they  had 
just  had  a  washing,  lie  upon  the  grass.  Thus  all  rustic  England 
is  like  a  great  summer  resort,  where  there  is  heard  no  sound 
of  the  ringing  [and  throbbing  strokes  of  life.  Nor  is  painting 
allowed  to    disturb   this   idyllic    harmony.     No  one    wishes   that 


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MODEMS  PAISTISG 


LoGHTox:  The  Acts  or  Peace.* 
iBy  p€rmnuum  of  Om  Amkiijpe  C4mipmmy,  At  ammtn  of  tkt  oopyr^kL) 

anything  should  remind  him  of  the  prose  of  life  when  his  work 
is  done  and  the  town  has  vanished  Schiller's  assertion,  "Life 
is  earnest,  blithe  is  art,"  is  here  the  first  law  of  aesthetics. 

English  painting  is  exclusively  an  art  based  on  luxur>% 
optimism,  and  aristocracy ;  in  its  neatness,  cleanliness,  and  good- 
breeding  it  is  exclusively  designed  to  ingratiate  itself  with 
English  ideas  of  comfort.  Yet  the  pictures  have  to  satisfy  very 
different  tastes — ^the  taste  of  a  wealthy  middle-class  which 
wishes  to  have  substantial  nourishment,  and  the  aesthetic  taste 
of  an  ilite  class,  the  readers  of  George  Eliot  and  Swinburne, 
which  will  only  tolerate  the  quintessence  of  art,  the  most  subtile 
art  that  can  be  given.  But  all  these  works  are  not  created  for 
galleries,  but  for  the  drawing-room  of  a  private  house,  and  in 
subject  and  treatment  they  have  all  to  reckon  with  the  ascendant 
view  that  a  picture  ought  in  the  first  place  to  be  an  attractive 
article  of  furniture  for  the  sitting-room.  The  traveller,  the  lover 
of  antiquity,  is  pleased  by  imitation  of  the  ancient  style ;  the 
sportsman,  the  lover  of  country  life,  has  a  delight  in  little  rustic 
scenes  ;  and  the  women  are  enchanted  with  feminine  types. 
And  everything  must  be  kept  within  the  bounds  of  what  is 
charming,  temperate,  and  prosperous,  without  in  any  degree 
suggesting  the  struggle  for  existence.  The  pictures  have 
themselves  the  grace  of  that  mundane  refinement  from  the  midst 
of  which  they  are  beheld. 


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ENGLAND 

England  is  the  country 
of  the  sculptures  of  the 
Parthenon,  the  country 
where  Bulwer  Lytton 
wrote  his  Last  Days  of 
Pompeiiy  and  where  the 
most  Grecian  female 
figures  in  the  world  may 
be  seen  to  move.  Thus 
painters  of  antique  sub- 
jects still  play  an  im- 
portant part  in  the  pursuit 
of  English  art — probably 
the  pursuit  of  art  rather 
than  its  development.  For 
they  have  never  enriched 
the  treasury  of  modern 
sentiment  Trained,  all  of 
them,  in  Paris  or  Belgium, 
they  are  equipped  with 
finer  taste,  and  have  ac- 
quired abroad  a  more  solid 
ability  than  James  Barry, 
Haydon,  and  Hinton,  the 
half-barbaric  English  Clas- 
sicists of  the  beginning 
of  the  century.  But  at 
bottom — like  Cabanel  and 
Bouguereau  —  they  repre- 
sent rigid  conservatism  in 
opposition  to  progress, 
and  the  way  in  which 
they  set  about  the  re- 
construction of  an  august 
or  domestic  antiquity  is 
only  distinguished  by  an 
English     nuance    of    race 


Leighton  :   "  Psyche's  Bath, 


{.By  permission  of  tkt  Berlin  Photographic  Company^ 
thg  owners  of  the  copyright.) 


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MODERN  PAINTING 


from  that  of  Couture  and 
G^r6me. 

Lord  Leighton^  the  late 
highly  cultured  President 
of,  the  Royal  Academy, 
was  the  most  dignified 
representative  of  this  ten- 
dency. He  was  a  Classicist 
through  and  through — in 
the  balance  of  composi- 
tion, the  rhythmical  flow 
of  lines,  and  the  confession 
of  faith  that  the  highest 
aim  of  art  is  the  repre- 
sentation of  men  and 
women  of  immaculate 
build.  In  the  picture- 
galleries  of  Paris,  Rome, 
Dresden,  and  Berlin  he 
received  his  youthful  im- 
pressions ;  his  artistic  dis- 
cipline he  received  under 
Zanetti  in  Florence,  under 
VViertz  and  Gallait  in 
Brussels,     under      Steinle 

{By  permission  of  tht  Corporation  of  Manchester^  tht      jj^      Frankfort      and      Undcr 
owners  of  the  picture.)  * 

Ingres  and  Ary  Scheffcr 
in  Paris.  Back  in  England  once  more,  he  translated  Couture 
into  English  as  Anselm  Feuerbach  translated  him  into  German 
with  greater  independence.  Undoubtedly  there  has  never  been 
anything  upon  his  canvas  which  could  be  supposed  ungentle- 
manlike.  And  as  a  nation  is  usually  apt  to  prize  most  the 
very  thing  which  has  been  denied  it  and  for  which  it  has  no 
talent,  Leighton  was  soon  an  object  of  admiration  to  the 
refined  world.  As  early  as  1864  he  became  an  associate,  and  in 
November  1879  President  of  the  Royal  Academy.  For  sixteen 
years   he   sat   like  a   Jupiter   upon  his   throne   in   London.      An 


Leighton:  "The  Last  Watch  of  Hero," 


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Broiken  photo.} 


Poynter:   "The  Ides  of  March." 
iBy  ptrmiaaion  of  tkg  Corporatioh  of  Mancktster^  the  owners  of  the  copyright.) 


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ENGLAND 


121 


accomplished  man  of 
the  world  and  a  good 
speaker,  a  scholar  who 
spoke  all  languages  and 
had  seen  all  countries, 
he  possessed  every 
quality  which  the  pre- 
sident of  an  academy 
needs  to  have ;  he  had 
an  exceedingly  impos- 
ing presence  in  his  red 
gown,  and  did  the 
honours  of  his  house 
with  admirable  tact. 

But  one  stands  be- 
fore his  works  with  a 
certain  feeling  of  indif- 
ference. There  are  few 
artists  with  so  little 
temperament  as  Lord 
Leighton,  few  in  the 
same  degree  wanting  in 
the  magic  of  individu- 
ality. The  purest  academical  art,  as  the  phrase  is  understood 
of  Ingres,  together  with  academical  severity  of  form,  is  united 
with  a  softness  of  feeling  recalling  Hofmann  of  Dresden ;  and 
the  result  is  a  placid  classicality  adapted  ad  usum  Delphini,  a 
classicality  foregoing  the  applause  of  artists,  but  all  the  more  in 
accordance  with  the  taste  of  a  refined  circle  of  ladies.  His 
chief  works,  "  The  Star  of  Bethlehem,"  "  Orpheus  and  Eurydice,*' 
"  Jonathan's  Token  to  David,"  "  Electra  at  the  Tomb  of 
Agamemnon,"  "  The  Daphnephoria,"  "  Venus  disrobing  for  the 
Bath,"  and  the  like,  are  amongst  the  most  refined  although  the 
most  frigid  creations  of  contemporary  English  art. 

Perhaps  the  "  Captive  Andromache  *'  of  1888  is  the  quintessence 
of  what  he  aimed  at.  The  background  is  the  court  of  an  ancient 
palace,  where  female  slaves  are  gathered  together  fetching  water. 

VOL.  III.  9 


Dixon  photo. \ 

Poynter:   "Idle  Fears." 
(By  permission  of  Lord  HHiingdon,  thg  owner  of  the  picture. y 


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122 


MODERN  PAINTING 


Poynter:    "A  Visit  to  ^Esculapius." 
(By  permission  of  the  Berlin  Photographic  Company ,  the  owners  of  the  copyright,"^ 


\  Ati^errr  plmiu  i»Ct 


In  the  centre  of  the  stage,  as  the  leading  actress,  stands 
Andromache,  who  has  placed  her  pitcher  on  the  ground  before 
her,,  and  waits  with  dignity  until  the  slaves  have  finished  their 
work.  This  business  of  water-drawing  has  given  Leighton  an 
opportunity  for  combining  an  assemblage  of  beautiful  poses.  The 
widow  of  Hector  expresses  a  queenly  sorrow  with  decorum, 
while  the  amphora-bearers  are  standing  or  walking  hither  and 
thither,  in  the  manner  demanded  by  the  pictures  upon  Grecian 
vases,  but  without  that  sureness  of  line  which  comes  of  the  real 
observation  of  life.  In  its  dignity  of  style,  in  the  noble  com- 
position and  purity  of  the  lines  which  circumscribe  the  forms 
with  so  much  distinction  and  in  so  impersonal  a  manner,  the 
picture  is  an  arid  and  measured  work,  cold  as  marble  and  smooth 
as  porcelain.  "  Hercules  wrestling  with  Death  for  the  Body  of 
Alcestis"  might  be  a  Grecian  relief  upon  a  sarcophagus,  so 
carefully  balanced  are  the  masses  and  the  lines.  The  pose  of 
Alcestis  is  that  of  the  nymphs  of  the  Parthenon  ;   only  it  would 


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123 


VArt'\ 


Alma  Tadema:  **  Sappho.'* 


{JBy  p€rmisiion  of  the  Berlin  Photographic  Company ^  the  owners  of  the  copyright.) 

not  have  been  so  fine  were  these  not  in  existence.  His  "  Music 
Lesson  *'  of  1877  is  charming,  and  his  "Elijah  in  the  Wilderness" 
is  a  work  of  style.  And  in  his  frescoes  in  the  South  Kensington 
Museum  there  is  a  perfect  compendium  of  beautiful  motives  of 
gesture.  The  eye  delights  to  linger  over  these  feminine  forms, 
half  nude,  half  enveloped  with  drapery,  yet  it  notes,  too,  that 
these  creations  are  composed  out  of  the  painter's  knowledge  and 
artistic  reminiscences  ;  there  is  a  want  of  life  in  them,  because 
the  master  has  surrendered  himself  to  feeling  with  the  organs  of 
a  dead  Greek.  Leighton's  colour  is  always  carefully  considered, 
scrupulously  polished,  and  endowed  with  the  utmost  finish,  but  it 
never  has  the  magical  charm  by  which  one  recognizes  the  work 
of  a  true  colourist.  It  is  rather  the  result  of  painstaking  study 
and  cultivated  taste  than  of  personal  feeling.  The  grace  of  form 
is  always  carefully  prepared — a  thing  which  has  the  consciousness 
of  its  own  existence.  Beautiful  and  spontaneous  as  the  move- 
ments undoubtedly  are,  one  has  always  a  sense  that  the  artist 
is  present,  anxiously  watching  lest  any  of  his  actors  offend  against 
a  law  of  art 

Lord    Leighton's   pupils,  Poynter   and    Prinsep,  followed   him 
with    a    good   deal   of   determination.     Val  Prinsep  shares   with 


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MODERN  PAINTING 


\,LAiwftn^tain  sc. 


Alma  Tadema:   "The  Apodvterium." 
iBy  permission  of  Mr.  T.  McLtan^  the  owner  of  the  copyright.) 

Leighton  the  smooth  forms  of  a  polished  painting,  whereas 
Edward  Poynter  by  his  more  earnest  severity  and  metallic 
precision  verges  more  on  that  union  of  aridness  and  style  charac- 
teristic of  Ingres.  His  masterpiece,  "  A  Visit  to  ^sculapius,"  is 
in  point  of  technique  one  of  the  best  products  of  English 
Classicism.  To  the  left  ^Esculapius  is  sitting  beneath  a  pillared 
porch  overgrown  with  foliage,  while,  like  Raphael's  Jupiter  in  the 
Farnesina,  he  supports  his  bearded  chin  thoughtfully  with  his  left 
hand.  A  nymph  who  has  hurt  her  foot  appears,  accompanied 
by  three  companions,  before  the  throne  of  the  god,  begging  him 
for  a  remedy.  To  say  nothing  of  many  other  nude  or  nobly 
draped  female  figures,  numerous  decorative  paintings  in  the 
Houses  of  Parliament,  St.  Paul's,  and  St.  Stephen's  Church  in 
Dulwich  owe  their  existence  to  this  most  industrious  artist. 

Alma  Tadema,  the  famous  Dutchman  who  has  called  to  life 
amid  the  London  fog  the  sacrifices  of  Pompeii  and  Herculaneum, 
stands  to   this  grave  academical   group   as   G^rdme   to   Couture. 


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"5 


Alma  Tadema:   "Pleading." 
(By  permisaion  oj  Mr,  £.  H.  Lt/hnrt,  thg  owntr  of  th*  copyright.) 


[Lou>tttsiam  stv 


As  Bulwer  Lytton,  in  the  field  of  literature,  created  a  picture  of 
ancient  civilization  so  successful  that  it  has  not  been  surpassed 
by  his  followers,  Alma  Tadema  has  solved  the  problem  of  the 
picture  of  antique  manners  in  the  most  authentic  fashion  in 
the  province  of  painting.  He  has  peopled  the  past,  rebuilt  its 
towns  and  refurnished  its  houses,  rekindled  the  flame  upon  the 
sacrificial  altars  and  awakened  the  echo  of  the  dithyrambs  to 
new  life.  Poynter  tells  old  fables,  while  Alma  Tadema  takes 
us  in  his  company,  and,  like  the  best-informed  cicerone,  leads  us 
through  the  streets  of  old  Athens,  reconstmcting  the  temples, 
altars,  and  dwellings,  the  shops  of  the  butchers,  bakers,  and  fish- 
mongers, just  as  they  once  were. 

This  power  of  making  himself  believed  Alma  Tadema  owes  in 
the  first  place  to  his  great  archaeological  learning.  By  Leys  in 
Brussels  this  side  of  his  talent  was  first  awakened,  and  in  1863, 
when  he  went  to  Italy  for  the  first  time,  he  discovered  his 
archaeological  mission.  How  the  old  Romans  dressed,  how  their 
army  was  equipped  and  attired,  became  as  well  known  to  him 
as  the  appearance  of  the  citizens'  houses,  the  artisans*  workshops. 


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126  MODERN  PAINTING 

the  market  and  the  bath.  He  explored  the  ruins  of  temples,  and 
he  grew  familiar  with  the  privileges  of  the  priests,  the  method  of 
worship,  of  the  sacrifices,  and  of  the  festal  processions.  There  was 
no  monument  of  br^ss  or  marble,  no  wall-painting,  no  pictured 
vase  nor  mosaic,  no  sample  of  ancient  arts,  of  pottery,  stone- 
cutting,  or  work  in  gold,  that  he  did  not  study.  His  brain  soon 
became  a  complete  encyclopaedia  of  antiquity.  He  knew  the 
forms  of  architecture  as  well  as  he  knew  the  old  myths,  and  all 
the  domestic  appointments  and  robes  as  exactly  as  the  usages 
of  ritual.  In  Brussels,  as  early  as  the  sixties,  this  complete 
power  of  living  in  the  period  he  chose  to  represent  gave  Alma 
Tadema's  pictures  from  antiquity  their  remarkable  cachet  of 
striking  truthfulness  to  life.  And  London,  whither  he  migrated 
in  1870,  offered  even  a  more  favourable  soil  for  his  art.  Whereas 
the  French  painters  of  the  antique  picture  of  manners  often  fell 
into  a  diluted  idealism  and  a  lifeless  traffic  with  old  curiosities,, 
with  Alma  Tadema  one  stands  in  the  presence  of  a  veritable 
fragment  of  life ;  he  simply  paints  the  people  amongst  whom  he 
lives  and  their  world.  The  Pompeian  house  which  he  has  built 
in  London,  with  its  dreamy  vividarium,  its  great  golden  hall,  its 
Egyptian  decorations,  its  Ionic  pillars,  its  mosaic  floor,  and  its 
Oriental  carpets,  contains  everything  one  needs  to  conjure  up 
the  times  of  Nero  and  the  Byzantine  emperors.  It  is  surrounded 
by  a  garden  in  the  old  Roman  style,  and  a  large  conservatory 
adjoining  is  planted  with  plane-trees  and  cypresses.  All  the 
celebrated  marble  benches  and  basins,  the  figures  of  stone  and 
bronze,  the  tiger-skins  and  antique  vessels  and  garments  of  his 
pictures,  may  be  found  in  this  notable  house  in  the  midst  of 
London.  Whether  he  paints  the  baths,  the  amphitheatre,  or  the 
atrium,  the  scenes  of  his  pictures  are  no  other  than  parts  of  his 
own  house  which  he  has  faithfully  painted. 

And  the  figures  moving  in  them  are  Englishwomen.  Among 
all  the  beautiful  things  in  the  world  there  are  few  so  beautiful 
as  English  girls.  Those  tall,  slender,  vigorous  figures  that  one 
sees  upon  the  beach  at  Brighton  are  really  like  Greek  women, 
and  even  the  garb  which  they  wear  in  playing  tennis  is  a^  free 
and  graceful  as  that  of  the  Grecian  people.     Alma  Tadema  was 


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127 


Albert  Moore. 


able  to  introduce  into  his  works 
these  women  of  lofty  and  noble 
figure  with  golden  hair,  these 
forms  made  for  sculpture  —  to 
use  the  phrase  of  Winckelmann 
— without  any  kind  of  beautify- 
ing idealism.  In  their  still-life 
his  pictures  are  the  fruit  of 
enormous  archaeological  learning 
which  has  become  intuitive  vision, 
but  his  figures  are  the  result  of 
a  healthy  rendering  of  life.  In 
this  way  the  unrivalled  classical 
local  colour  of  his  interiors  is  to 
be  explained,  as  well  as  the 
lifelike  character  of  his  figures. 
By  his  works  a  remarkable  problem  is  solved  :  an  intense  feeling 
for  modern  reality  has  called  the  ancient  world  into  being  in 
a  credible  fashion,  whilst  it  has  remained  barricaded  against  all 
others  who  have  approached  it  by  the  road  of  idealism. 

It  is  only  in  his  method  of  execution  that  he  still  stands 
upon  the  same  ground  as  Gerdme,  with  whom  he  shares  a  taste 
for  anecdote,  and  a  pedantic,  neat,  and  correct  style  of  painting. 
His  ancient  comedies  played  by  English  actors  are  an  excellent 
archaeological  lecture;  they  rise  above  the  older  picture  of 
antique  manners  by  a  more  striking  fidelity  to  nature,  very 
different  from  the  generalization  of  the  Classicists'  ideal  ;  yet  as 
a  painter  he  is  wanting  in  every  quality.  His  marble  shines, 
his  bronze  gleams,  and  everything  is  harmonized  with  the  green 
of  the  cypresses  and  delicate  rose-colour  of  the  oleander  blossoms 
in  a  cool  marble  tone;  but  there  is  also  something  marble  in 
the  figures  themselves.  He  draws  and  stipples,  .works  like  a 
copper  engraver,  and  goes  over  his  work  again  and  again  with 
a  fine  and  feeble  brush.  His  pictures  have  the  effect  of 
porcelain,  his  colours  are  hard  and  lifeless.  One  remembers  the 
anecdotes,  but  one  cannot  speak  of  any  idea  of  colour. 

Albert  Moore  is  to  be  noted  as  the  solitary  "painter"  of  the 


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MODERN  PAINTING 


group  :  a  very  delicate 
artist,  with  a  style  peculiar 
to  himself;  one  who  is  not 
so  well  known  upon  the 
Continent  as  he  deserves 
to  be.  His  province,  also, 
is  ancient  Greece,  yet  he 
never  attempted  to  recon- 
struct classical  antiquity 
as  a  learned  archaeologist. 
Merely  as  a  painter  did 
he  love  to  dream  amid 
the  imperishable  world  of 
beauty  known  to  ancient 
times.  His  figures  are 
ethereal  visions,  and  move 
in  dreamland.  He  was 
influenced,  indeed,  by  the 
sculptures  of  the  Parthe- 
non, but  the  Japanese 
have  also  penetrated  his 
spirit  From  the  Greeks  he  learnt  the  combination  of  noble 
lines,  the  charm  of  dignity  and  quietude,  while  the  Japanese 
gave  him  the  feeling  for  harmonies  of  colour,  for  soft,  delicate, 
blended  tones.  By  a  capricious  union  of  both  these  elements 
he  formed  his  refined  and  exquisite  style.  The  world  which 
he  has  called  into  being  is  made  up  of  white  marble  pillars ;  in 
its  gardens  are  cool  fountains  and  marble  pavements ;  but  it  is 
also  full  of  white  birds,  soft  colours,  and  rosy  blossoms  from 
Kioto.  And  it  is  peopled  with  graceful  and  mysterious  maidens, 
clothed  in  ideal  draperies,  who  love  rest,  enjoy  an  eternal  youth, 
and  are  altogether  contented  with  themselves  and  with  one 
another.  It  might  be  said  that  the  old  figures  of  Tanagra  had 
received  new  life,  were  it  not  felt,  at  the  same  time,  that  these 
beings  must  have  drunk  a  good  deal  of  tea.  Not  that  they  are 
entirely  modern,  for  their  figures  are  more  plastic  and  sym- 
metrical than  those   of  the  actual  daughters  of  Albion  ;    but  in 


SaribiurB  MagOMint.] 

Albert  Moore:  "Yellow  Daffodils.** 

(By  ptrmissum  of  IV.  Connal^  Esq.,  the  onnur  of  tht 
piciutm*) 


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C.  Henischgl  rtpr.^  [  tioussod-  Valadon  sc. 

Albert  Moore:   ''Companions." 

(By  ptrmission  o/Missra.  DowdeswtU  6*  DowtUsweilSf  tht  own4ra  of  tht  copyright,) 


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131 


Albert  Moore:   "Midsummer." 

(By  permission  0/  Messrs.  Cadbury,  Jones  ^  Co.^ 
the  owners  of  the  copyright.) 


all  their  movements  they 
have  a  certain  chicy  and  in 
all  their  shades  of  expres- 
sion a  weary  modernity, 
through  which  they  deviate 
from  the  conventional 
woman  of  Classicism. 
Otherwise  the  pictures  of 
Albert  Moore  are  inde- 
scribable. Frail,  ethereal 
beings,  blond  as  corn, 
lounge  in  aesthetically 
graduated  grey  and  blue, 
salmon  -  coloured,  or  pale 
purple  draperies  upon 
bright  -  hued  couches  de- 
corated by  Japanese  artists 
with  most  aesthetic  materials ;  or  they  stand  in  a  violet  robe 
with  a  white  mantle  embroidered  with  gold  by  a  grey-blue  sea, 
which  has  a  play  of  greenish  tones  at  the  spot  where  it  breaks 
upon  the  shore.  They  stand  out  with  their  rosy  garments 
from  the  light  grey  background  and  the  delicate  arabesques  of 
a  gleaming  silvery  gobelin,  or  in  a  graceful  pose  occupy 
themselves  with  their  rich  draperies.  They  do  as  little  as 
they  possibly  can,  but  they  are  living  and  seductive,  and  the 
stuffs  which  they  wear  and  have  around  them  are  delicately 
and  charmingly  painted.  It  is  harmonies  of  tone  and  colour 
that  exclusively  form  the  subject  of  every  work.  The  figures, 
accessories,  and  detail  first  take  shape  when  the  scale  of  colour 
has  been  found ;  and  then  Albert  Moore  takes  a  delight  in 
naming  his  pictures  "  Apricots,"  "  Oranges,"  "  Shells,"  etc.,  accord- 
ing as  the  robes  arc  apricot  or  orange  colour  or  adorned  with 
light  ornaments  of  shell.  Everything  which  comes  from  his 
hands  is  delightful  in  the  charm  of  delicate  simplicity,  and  for 
any  one  who  loves  painting  as  painting  it  has  something  soothing 
in  the  midst  of  the  surrounding  art,  which  still  confuses  painting 
with  poetry  more  than  is  fitting. 


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132  MODERN  PAINTING 


Scribntr's  MagaMtng.} 

Albert  Moore:  ** Reading  Aloud." 

{By  ptrmission  of  fV,  Connai,  Esq.,  ihg  owntr  of  tht  picture,) 

Such  a  painter-poet  of  the  specifically  English  type  is  Briton^ 
Riviere,  He  is  a  painter  of  animals,  and  as  such  one  of  the 
greatest  of  the  century.  Lions  and  geese,  royal  tigers  and  golden 
eagles,  stags,  dogs,  foxes,  and  Highland  cattle,  he  has  painted 
them  all,  and  with  a  mastery  which  has  nothing  like  it  except  in 
Landseer.  Amongst  the  painters  of  animals  he  stands  alone 
through  his  power  of  conception  and  his  fine  poetic  vein,  while  in 
all  his  pictures  he  unites  the  greatest  simplicity  with  enormous 
dramatic  force.  Accessory  work  is  everywhere  kept  within  the 
narrowest  limits,  and  everywhere  the  character  of  the  animals 
is  magnificently  grasped.  He  does  not  alone  paint  great  tragic 
scenes  as  Barye  chiselled  them,  for  he  knows  that  beasts  of  prey 
are  usually  quiet  and  peaceable,  and  only  now  and  then  obey 
their  savage  nature.  Moreover  he  never  attempts  to  represent 
animals  performing  a  masquerade  of  humanity  in  their  gestures 
and  expression,  as  Landseer  did,  nor  does  he  transform  them 
into  comic  actors.  He  paints  them  as  what  they  are,  a  symbol 
of  what  humanity  was  once  itself,  with  its  elementary  passions 
and  its  natural  virtues  and  failings.  Amongst  all  animal  painters 
he  is  almost  alone  in  resisting  the  temptation  to  give  the  lion  a 
consciousness  of  his  own  dignity,  the  tiger  a  consciousness  of 
his   own   savageness,  the  dog  a  consciousness  of  his  own  under- 


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ENGLAND 


133 


standing.  They  neither 
pose  nor  think  about 
themselves.  In  addition 
to  this  he  has  a  powerful 
and  impressive  method, 
and  a  deep  and  earnest 
scheme  of  colour.  In  the 
beginning  of  his  career  he 
learnt  most  from  James 
Ward.  Later  he  felt  the 
influence  of  the  refined, 
chivalrous,  and  piquant 
Scotchmen  Orchardson 
and  Pettie.  But  the  point 
in  which  Briton-Riviere  is 
altogether  peculiar  is  that 
in  which  he  joins  issue 
with  the  painters  in- 
fluenced by  Greece :  he 
introduces  his  animals  into 
a  scene  where  there  are 
men  of  the  ancient  world. 
Briton  -  Riviere    is   de- 


Scribntr's  Magaaint.} 
Albert  Moore  :   "  Waiting  to  Cross." 
{By  permission  of  Lord  Davey*Jhe  owntr  oftht  picturt.)  \ 


scended  from  a  French  family  which  found  its  way  into  England 
after  the  revocation  of  the  Edict  of  Nantes,  and  he  is  one  of 
those  painters — so  frequent  in  English  art — whose  nature  has 
developed  early :  when  he  was  fourteen  he  left  school,  exhibited 
in  the  Academy  when  he  was  eighteen,  painted  as  a  Pre- 
raphaelite  between  the  ages  of  eighteen  and  twenty-two,  and 
graduated  at  Oxford  at  seven-and- twenty.  In  his  youth  he 
divided  his  time  between  art  and  scholarship — painting  pictures 
and  studying  Greek  and  Latin  literature.  Thus  he  became  a 
painter  of  animals  having  also  an  enthusiasm  for  the  Greek 
poets,  and  he  has  stood  for  a  generation  as  an  uncontested 
lord  and  master  on  his  own  peculiar  ground.  In  his  first 
important  picture,  of  1871,  the  comrades  of  Ulysse.s,  changed  into 
swine,   troop    grunting    round    the    enchantress    Circe.      In   the 


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134  MODERN  PAINTING 

masterpiece  .'of  1872  the  Prophet  Daniel  stands  unmoved  and 
submissive  to  the  will  of  God  amid  the  lions  roaring  and  showing 
their  teeth,  ready  to  spring  upon  him  in  their  hunger,  yet  re- 
garding him  with  a  mysterious  fear,  spellbound  by  the  power 
of  his  eye.  While  his  great  picture  "  Persepolis "  makes  the 
appeal  of  a  page  from  the  philosophy  of  history,  with  its  lions 
roaming  majestically  amid  the  ruins  of  human  grandeur  and  human 
civilization,  which  are  flooded  with  moonlight  The  picture  "In 
Manus  Tuas,  Domine,"  showed  St.  George  riding  solitary  through 
the  lonely  and  silent  recesses  of  a  primitive  forest  upon  a  pale 
white  horse.  He  is  armed  in  mail  and  has  a  mighty  sword  ;  a 
deep  seriousness  is  imprinted  on  his  features,  for  he  has  gone 
forth  to  slay  the  dragon.  In  yet  another  picture,  "An  Old- 
World  Wanderer,"  a  man  of  the  early  ages  has  come  ashore  upon 
an  untrodden  island,  and  is  encompassed  by  flocks  of  great  white 
birds,  fluttering  round  him  with  curiosity  and  confidence,  as  yet 
ignorant  of  the  fear  of  human  beings.  The  picture  of  1891, 
"  A  Mighty  Hunter  before  the  Lord,"  is  one  of  his  most  poetic 
night-pieces :  Nimrod  is  returning  home,  and  beneath  the  silvery 
silence  of  the  moon  the  dead  and  dying  creatures  which  he  has 
laid  low  upon  the  wide  Assyrian  plain  are  tended  and  bemoaned 
by  their  mates. 

Between  whiles  he  painted  subjects  which  were  not  borrowed 
from  ancient  history,  illustrating  the  friendship  between  man  and 
dog,  as  Landseer  had  done  before  him.  For  instance,  in  "  His 
Only  Friend "  there  is  a  poor  lad  who  has  broken  down  at  the 
last  milestone  before  the  town  and  is  guarded  by  his  dog.  In 
"  Old  Playfellows "  again  one  of  the  playmates  is  a  child,  who  is 
sick  and  leans  back  quietly  in  an  armchair  covered  with  cushions. 
His  friend  the  great  dog  has  one  paw  resting  on  the  child's  lap, 
and  looks  up  with  a  pensive  expression,  such  as  Landseer  alone 
has  painted  in  previous  times.  But  in  this  style  he  reached 
his  highest  point  in  "Sympathy."  No  work  of  Briton-Riviere's 
has  become  more  popular  than  this  picture  of  the  little  maiden 
who  has  forgotten  her  key  and  is  sitting  helpless  before  the 
house-door,  consoled  by  the  dog  who  has  laid  his  head  upon  her 
shoulder. 


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ENGLAND  137 

Since  the  days  of  Reynolds  English  art  has  shown  a  most 
vivid  originality  in  such  representations  of  children.  English 
picture-books  for  children  are  in  these  days  the  most  beautiful 
in  the  world,  and  the  marvellous  fairy-tales  and  fireside  stories 
of  Randolph  Caldecott  and  Kate  Greenaway  have  made  their  way 
throughout  the  whole  Continent.  How  well  these  English 
draughtsmen  know  the  secret  of  combining  truth  with  the  most 
exquisite  grace !  How  touching  are  these  pretty  babies,  how 
angelically  innocent  these  little  maidens !  Frank  eyes,  blue  as 
the  flowers  of  the  periwinkle,  gaze  at  you  with  no  thought  of 
their  being  looked  at  in  return.  The  naYve  astonishment  of  the 
little  ones,  their  frightened  mien,  their  earnest  look  absently 
fixed  upon  the  sky,  the  first  tottering  steps  of  a  tiny  child 
and  the  mobile  grace  of  a  schoolgirl,  all  are  rendered  in  these 
prints  with  the  most  tender  intimacy  of  feeling.  And  united 
with  this  there  is  a  delicate  and  entirely  modern  sentiment  for 
scenery,  for  the  fascination  of  bare  autumn  landscapes  robbed 
of  their  foliage,  for  sunbeams  and  the  budding  fragrance  of 
spring.  Everything  is  idyllic,  poetic,  and  touched  by  a  congenial 
breath  of  tender  melancholy. 

And  this  aerial  quality,  this  delicacy  and  innocent  grace  and 
tenderness,  is  not  confined  alone  to  such  representations  of  children, 
but  is  peculiar  to  English  painting.  Even  when  perfectly 
ordinary  subjects  from  modern  life  are  in  question,  the  basis 
of  this  art  is,  as  in  the  first  half  of  the  century,  by  no  means 
the  sense  for  what  is  purely  pictorial,  by  no  means  that  naturalistic 
pantheism  which  inspires  the  modern  French,  but  rather  a  sense 
for  what  is  moral  or  ethical.  The  painter  seldom  paints  merely 
for  the  joy  of  painting,  and  the  numberless  technical  questions 
which  play  such  an  important  part  in  French  art  are  here  only 
of  secondary  importance.  It  accords  with  the  character  and 
taste  of  the  people  that  their  artists  have  rather  a  poetic  design 
than  one  which  is  properly  pictorial.  The  conception  is  some- 
times allegorical  and  subtile  to  the  most  exquisite  fineness  of 
point,  sometimes  it  is  vitiated  by  sentimentality,  but  it  is  never 
purely  naturalistic  ;  and  this  qualified  realism,  this  realism  with 
a  poetic  strain  to  keep  it  ladylike,  set  English  art,  especially  in 

VOL.  III.  10 


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138  MODERN  PAINTING 

the  years  when  Bastien-Lepage  and  Roll  were  at  their  zenith, 
in  sharp  opposition  to  the  art  of  France.  In  those  days  the 
life-size  artisan  picture,  the  prose  of  life,  and  the  struggle  for 
existence  reigned  almost  exclusively  in  the  Parisian  Salon, 
whereas  in  the  Royal  Academy  everything  was  quiet  and  cordial ; 
an  intimate,  inoffensive,  and  heartfelt  cheerfulness  was  to  be 
found  in  the  pictures  upon  its  walls,  as  if  none  of  these  painters 
knew  of  the  existence  of  such  a  place  as  Whitechapel.  A  con- 
nection between  pictures  and  poems  is  still  popular,  and  some 
touching  trait,  some  tender  episode,  some  expression  of  softness, 
is  given  to  subjects  drawn  from  the  ordinary  life  of  the  people. 
Painters  seek  in  every  direction  after  pretty  rustic  scenes,  moving 
incidents,  or  pure  emotions.  Instead  of  being  harsh  and  rugged 
in  their  sense  of  truth  and  passion,  they  glide  lightly  away  from 
anything  ugly,  bringing  together  the  loveliest  and  most  beautiful 
things  in  nature,  and  creating  elegies,  pastorals,  and  idylls  from 
the  passing  events  of  life.  Their  method  of  expression  is 
fastidious  and  finished  to  a  nicety  ;  their  vision  of  life  is  smiling 
and  kindly,  though  it  must  not  be  supposed  that  their  optimism 
has  now  anything  in  common  with  the  genre  picture  of  1850. 
The  genre  painters  from  Wilkie  to  Collins  epitomized  the  actual 
manners  of  the  present  in  prosaic  compositions.  But  here  the 
most  splendid  poetry  breaks  out,  as  indeed  it  actually  does  in 
the  midst  of  ordinary  life.  If  in  that  earlier  period  English 
painting  was  awkward  in  narration,  vulgar,  and  didactic,  it  is 
now  tasteful,  refined,  beautiful,  and  of  distinction.  The  philis- 
tinism  of  the  pictures  of  those  days  has  been  finally  stripped 
away,  and  the  humorously  anecdotic  genre  entirely  overcome. 
The  generation  of  tiresome  narrative  artists  has  been  followed 
by  painter-poets  of  delicacy  and  exquisite  tenderness  of  feeling. 
Two  masters  who  died  young  and  have  a  peculiarly  captivat- 
ing individuality,  George  Mason  and  Fred  Walker,  stand  at 
the  head  of  this,  •  the  most  novel  phase  of  English  painting. 
Alike  in  the  misfortune  of  premature  death,  they  are  also  united 
by  a  bond  of  sympathy  in  their  taste  and  sentiment  If  there 
be  truth  in  what  Theophile  Gautier  once  said  in  a  beautiful 
poem,   "  Tout  passe,  Tart    robuste   seul  a  V^temiti''    neither    of 


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ENGLAND 


141 


them  will  enter  the 
kingdom  of  immor- 
tality.    That   might 
be  applied  to  them 
which    Heine    said 
of  Leopold  Robert : 
they    have    purified 
the   peasant   in   the 
purgatory    of    their 
art  so  that  nothing 
but  a  glorified  body 
remains.       As     the 
Preraphaelites 
wished  to  give   ex- 
quisite  precision   to 
the  world  of  dream, 
Walker  and  Mason 
have      taken      this 
precision    from    the 
world      of      reality, 
•endowing     it     with 
a     refined     subtilty 
which    in    truth    it 
has  not  got.     Their 
pictures    breathe' 
only  of  the   bloom 
and     essence     of 
things,  and  in  them 
nature    is    deprived 
of  her  strength  and 
marrow,  and  paint- 
ing of  her   peculiar 
<iualities,  which  are 
changed      in  to 
coloured   breath   and   tinted   dream.     They   may  be  reproached 
with  an   excess   of  nervous   sensibility,  an   effort  after  style  by 
which    modern    truth    is    recast,   a    morbid    tendency   to    suave 


U.D.MUltrsc, 
Mason;  "The  Milkmaid." 

(By  permission  of  Mtssrs.  P.  <S*  D.  Colnaghi^  tfu  owners  oj 
the  copyright.) 


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MODERN  PAINTING 


[R.  Macbeth  sc. 
Mason  :   "  The  Unwilling  Playmate.'* 

(By  ptrmission  of  Mr.  Robert  Dunlhome,  tht  owmer  of  tht  copyright,) 

mysticism.  Nevertheless  their  works  are  the  most  original 
products  of  English  painting  during  the  last  twenty  years,  and 
by  a  strange  union  of  realism  and  poetic  feeling  they  have 
exercised  a  deeply  penetrative  influence  upon  Continental  art 

"  ^quam  semper  in  rebus  arduis  servare  mentem  **  might  be 
chosen  as  a  motto  for  George  Mason's  biography.  Brought  up 
in  prosperous  circumstances,  he  first  became  a  doctor,  but  when 
he  was  seven-and-twenty  he  went  to  Italy  to  devote  himself  to 
painting;  here  he  received  the  news  that  he  was  ruined.  His 
father  had  lost  everything,  and  he  found  himself  entirely  deprived 
of  means,  so  that  his  life  became  a  long  struggle  against  hunger. 
He  bound  himself  to  dealers,  and  provided  animal  pieces  by 
the  dozen  for  the  smallest  sums.  In  a  freezing  room  he  sat 
with  his  pockets  empty,  worked  until  it  was  dark,  and  crept 
into  bed  when  Rome  went  to  feast.  After  two  years,  however, 
he  had  at  last  saved  the  money  necessary  for  taking  him  back 
to  England,  and  he  settled  with  his  young  wife  in  Wetley 
Abbey.  This  little  village,  where  he  lived  his  simple  life  in  the 
deepest  seclusion,  became  for  him  what  Barbizon  had  been  for 
Millet  He  wandered  by  himself  amongst  the  fields,  and  painted 
the  valleys  of  Wetley  with  the  tenderness  of  feeling  with  which 
Corot    painted    the    outskirts    of    Fontainebleau.      He    saw    the 


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ENGLAND  145 

ghostly  mists  lying  upon  the  moors,  saw  the  peasants  returning 
from  the  plough  and  the  reapers  from  the  field,  noted  the 
children,  in  their  life  so  closely  connected  with  the  change  of 
nature.  And  yet  his  peasant  pictures  more  resemble  the  works 
of  Perugino  than  those  of  Bastien-Lepage.  The  character  of 
their  landscape  is  to  some  extent  responsible  for  this.  For 
the  region  he  paints,  in  its  lyrical  charm,  has  kinship  with 
the  hills  in  the  pictures  of  Perugino.  Here  there  grow  the 
same  slender  trees  upon  a  delicate,  undulating  soil.  But  the 
silent,  peaceful,  and  resigned  human  beings  who  move  across 
it  have  also  the  tender  melancholy  of  Umbrian  Madonnas. 
Mason's  realism  is  merely  specious ;  it  consists  in  the  external 
point  of  costume.  There  are  really  no  peasants  of  such  slender 
growth,  no  English  village  maidens  with  such  rosy  faces  and 
such  coquettish  Holland  caps.  Mason  divests  them  of  all  the 
heaviness  of  earth,  takes,  as  it  were,  only  the  flower-dust  from 
reality.  The  poetic  grace  of  Jules  Breton  might  be  recalled, 
were  it  not  that  Mason  works  with  more  refinement  and 
subtilty,  for  his  idealism  was  unconscious,  and  never  resulted 
in  an  empty,  professional  painting  of  beauty. 

When  he  painted  his  finest  pictures  he  suffered  from  very 
bad  health,  and  his  works  have  themselves  the  witchery  of 
disease,  the  fascinating  beauty  of  consumption.  .  He  painted 
with  such  delicacy  and  refinement  because  sickness  had  made 
him  weak  and  delicate ;  he  divested  his  peasant  men  and  women 
of  everything  fleshly,  so  that  nothing  but  a  shadow  of  them 
remained,  a  spirit  vibrating  in  fine,  dying,  and  elusive  chords. 
In  his  "  Evening  Hymn "  girls  are  singing  in  the  meadow ;  to 
judge  from  their  dresses  they  should  be  the  daughters  of  the 
peasantry,  but  one  fancies  them  religious  enthusiasts,  brought 
together  upon  this  mysterious  and  sequestered  corner  of  the 
earth  by  a  melancholy  world-weariness,  by  a  yearning  after  the 
mystical.  Fragile  as  glass,  sensitive  to  the  ends  of  their  fingers, 
and,  one  might  say,  morbidly  spiritual,  they  breathe  out  their 
souls  in  song,  encompassed  by  the  soft  shadows  of  the  evening 
twilight,  and  uttering  all  the  exquisite  tenderness  of  their  subtile 
temperament  in  the  hymn  they  chant.     Another  of  his  pastoral 


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iti.  Macbeth  #c. 


Walker:   "Marlow  Ferry." 
{By  ptrmission  of  Mr,  Robert  Dunthomtf  tht  owner  0/  the  copyright,) 

symphonies  is  "  The  Harvest  Moon."  Some  labourers  are 
stepping  homewards  after  their  day's  work.  The  moon  is  rising, 
and  casts  its  soft,  subdued  hght  upon  the  dark  hills  and  the 
slender  trees,  in  the  silvery  leaves  of  which  the  evening  wind  is 
playing.  "  The  Gander,"  "  The  Young  Anglers,"  and.  "  The  Cast 
Shoe  "  are  captivating  through  the  same  delicacy  and  the  same 
mood  of  peaceful  resignation.  George  Mason  is  an  astonishing 
artist,  almost  always  guilty  of  exaggeration,  but  always  seductive. 
Life  passes  in  his  pictures  like  a  beautiful  summer's  day,  and 
with  the  accompaniment  of  soft  music.  A  peaceful,  delicate 
feeling,  something  mystical,  bitter-sweet,  and  suffering,  lives 
beneath  the  light  and  tender  veil  of  his  pictures.  They  affect 
the  nerves  like  a  harmonica,  and  lull  one  with  low  and  softly 
veiled  harmonies.  Many  of  the  melancholy  works  of  Israels 
have  a  similar  eflfect,  only  Israels  is  less  refined,  has  less  of 
distinction  and — more  of  truth. 

This  suavity  of  feeling  is  characteristic  in  an  almost  higher 
degree  of  Fred  Walker,  an  artist  sensitive  and  never  satisfied 
with   himself.      Every  one  of  his  pictures   gives   the   impression 


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ENGLAND  147 

of  deep  and  quiet  reverie  ;  everywhere  a  kind  of  mood,  like 
that  in  a  fairy  tale,  colours  the  ordinary  events  of  life  in  his 
works,  an  effect  produced  by  his  refined  composition  of  forms 
and  colours.  In  his  classically  simple  art  Mason  was  influenced 
by  the  Italians,  and  especially  the  Umbrians.  Walker  drew  a 
similar  inspiration  from  the  works  of  Millet.  Both  the  English- 
man and  the  Frenchman  died  in  the  same  year,  the  former  on 
January  20th,  1875,  in  Barbizon,  the  latter  on  June  sth,  in 
Scotland  ;  and  yet  in  a  certain  sense  they  stand  at  the  very 
opposite  poles  of  art.  Walker  is  graceful,  delicate,  and  tender; 
Millet  forceful,  healthy,  and  powerful.  **  To  draw  sublimity 
from  what  is  trivial "  was  the  aim  of  both,  and  they  both  reached 
it  by  the  same  path.  All  their  predecessors  had  held  truth  as 
the  foe  of  beauty,  and  had  qualified  shepherds  and  shepherdesses, 
ploughmen  and  labourers,  for  artistic  treatment  by  forcing  upon 
them  the  smiling  grace  and  the  strained  humour  of  genre 
painting.  Millet  and  Fred  Walker  broke  with  the  frivolity 
of  this  elder  school  of  painting,  which  had  seen  matter  for 
jesting,  and  only  that,  in  the  life  of  the  rustic  ;  they  asserted 
that  in  the  life  of  the  toiler  nothing  was  more  deserving  of 
artistic  representation  than  his  toil.  They  always  began  by 
reproducing  life  as  they  saw  it,  and  by  disdaining,  in  their  effort 
after  truth,  all  artificial  embellishment ;  they  came  to  recognize, 
both  of  them  at  the  same  time,  a  dignity  in  the  human  frame, 
and  grandiose  forms  and  classic  lines  in  human  movement,  which 
no  one  had  discovered  before.  With  the  most  pious  reverence 
for  the  exact  facts  of  life,  there  was  united  that  greatness  of 
conception  which  is  known  as  style. 

Fred  Walker,  the  Tennyson  of  painting,  was  born  in 
London  in  1840,  and  had  scarcely  left  school  before  the  galleries 
of  ancient  art  in  the  British  Museum  became  his  favourite  place 
of  resort.  Drawings  for  wood-engraving  were  his  first  works, 
and  with  Millet  in  France  he  has  the  chief  merit  of  having 
put  fresh  life  into  the  traditional  style  of  English  wood-cut 
engraving,  so  that  he  is  honoured  by  the  young  school  of 
engravers  in  wood-cut  as  their  lord  and  master.  His  first,  and 
as  yet  unimportant,   drawings   appeared  in  i860   in  a  periodica 


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[/?.  Macb€tk  8C. 


Walker:  "A  Flood  in  the  Fens." 
(fiy  permission  of  Mr,  Robert  Dunthonu,  the  owner  of  the  copyright.) 

called  Once  a  Week,  for  which  Leech,  Millais,  and  others  also 
made  drawings.  Shortly  after  this  d^but  he  was  introduced 
to  Thackeray,  then  the  editor  of  Comhill,  and  he  undertook 
the  illustrations  with  Millais.  In  these  plates  he  is  already 
seen  in  his  charm,  grace,  and  simplicity.  His  favourite  season 
is  the  tender  spring,  when  the  earth  is  clothed  with  young 
verdure,  and  the  sunlight  glances  over  the  naked  branches,  and 
the  children  pluck  the  first  flowers  which  have  shot  up  beneath 
their  covering  of  snow. 

His  pictures  give  pleasure  by  virtue  of  the  same  qualities — 
delicacy  of  drawing,  bloom  of  colouring,  and  a  grace  which  is  not 
affected  in  spite  of  its  Grecian  rhythm. 

Walker  was  the  first  to  introduce  that  delicate  rosy  red  which 
has  since  been  popular  in  English  painting.  His  method  of 
vision  is  as  widely  removed  from  that  of  Manet  as  from  Couture's 
brown  sauce.  The  surface  of  every  one  of  his  pictures  resembles 
a  rare  jewel  in  its  delicate  finish :  it  is  soft,  and  gives  the 
sense  of  colour  and  of  refined  and  soothing  harmony.  His  first 
important  work,  *' Bathers,'*  was  exhibited  in  1867  at  the 
Royal  Academy,  where  works  of  his  appeared  regularly  during 
the  next  five  years.  About  a  score  of  young  people  are  standing 
on  the  verge  of  a  deep  and  quiet  English  river,  and  are  just 
about  to  refresh  themselves  in  the  tide  after  a  hot  August  day. 


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i^AwiA 


Jitiopfr  m. 


Walker:   "The  Bathers." 
{By  permission  of  Messrs.  Thomas  Agrnw  cJ*  5om5,  the  owners  oj  the  copyright.) 

Some,  indeed,  are  already  in  the  water,  while  others  are  sitting 
upon  the  grass  and  others  undressing.  The  frieze  of  the 
Parthenon  is  recalled,  so  plastic  is  the  grace  of  these  young 
frames,  and  the  style  and  repose  of  the  treatment  of  lines, 
which  are  such  as  may  only  be  found  in  Puvis  de  Chavannes. 
In  his  next  picture,  "  The  Vagrants,"  he  represented  a  group 
of  gipsies  camping  round  a  fire  in  the  midst  of  an  English 
landscape.  A  mother  is  nursing  her  child,  while  to  the  left  a 
woman  is  standing  plunged  in  thought,  and  to  the  right  a  lad  is 
throwing  wood  upon  the  faintly  blazing  fire.  Here,  too,  the  figures 
are  all  drawn  severely  after  nature  and  yet  have  the  air  of  Greek 
statues.  There  is  no  modern  artist  who  has  united  in  so  un- 
forced a  manner  actuality  and  fidelity  to  nature  with  "  the  noble 
simplicity  and  quiet  grandeur"  of  the  antique.  In  a  succeeding 
picture  of  1870,  "The  Plough,"  a  labourer  is  striding  over  the 
ground  ploughing.  The  long  day  is  approaching  its  end,  and  the 
moon  stands  silvery  in  the  sky.  Far  into  the  distance  the  field 
stretches  away,  and  the  heavy  tread  of  the  horses  mingles  in  the 
stillness  of  evening  with  the  murmur  of  the  stream  which  flows 
round  the  grassy  ridge,  making  its  soft  complaint.  "Man 
goeth  forth  to  his  work  and  to  his  labour  until  the  evening" 
is  its  thoroughly  English  motto.  The  same  still  mournfulness 
of  sunset  he  painted  in  that  work  of  marvellous  tenderness  "  The 
Old  Gate."     The  peace  of  dusk  is  resting  upon  a  soft  and  gentle 


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landscape.  A  lady  who  is  the  owner  of  a  country  mansion  and 
is  dressed  like  a  widow  has  just  stepped  out  from  the  garden  gate, 
accompanied  by  her  maid,  who  is  in  the  act  of  shutting  it ; 
children  are  playing  on  the  steps,  and  a  couple  of  labourers  are 
going  past  in  front  and  look  towards  the  lady  of  the  house.  It  is 
nothing  except  the  meeting  of  certain  persons,  a  scene  such  as 
takes  place  every  day,  and  yet  even  here  there  is  a  subtilty  and 
tenderness  which  raise  the  event  from  the  prose  of  ordinary  life 
into  a  mysterious  world  of  poetry. 

In  his  later  period  he  deviated  more  and  more  towards  a 
fragrant  lyricism.  In  his  great  picture  of  1872,  "The  Harbour 
of  Refuge,"  the  background  is  formed  by  one  of  those  peaceful 
buildings  where  the  aged  poor  pass  the  remainder  of  their 
days  in  meditative  rest.  The  sun  is  sinking  and  there  is  a 
rising  moon.  The  red-tiled  roof  stands  out  clear  against  the 
quiet  evening  sky,  while  upon  the  terrace  in  front,  over  which 
the  tremulous  yellow  rays  of  the  setting  sun  are  shed,  an  old 
woman  with  a  bowed  figure  is  walking,  guided  by  a  graceful 
girl  who  steps  lightly  forward.  It  is  the  old  contrast  between 
day  and  night,  youth  and  age,  strength  and  decay.  Yet  in 
Walker  there  is  no  opposition  after  all.  For  as  light  mingles 
with  the  shadows  in  the  twilight,  this  young  and  vigorous 
woman  who  paces  in  the  evening,  holding  the  arm  of  the  aged 
in  mysterious  silence,  has  at  the  moment  no  sense  of  her  youth, 
but  is  rather  filled  with  that  melancholy  thought  underlying 
Goethe's  ''Warte  nur  baldel'  "Wait  awhile  and  thou  shalt  rest 
too."  Her  eyes  have  a  strange  gaze,  as  though  she  were  looking 
into  vacancy  in  mere  absence  of  mind.  And  upon  the  other  side 
of  the  picture  this  theme  of  the  transient  life  of  humanity  is  still 
further  developed.  Upon  a  bench  in  the  midst  of  a  verdant 
lawn  covered  with  daisies  a  group  of  old  men  are  sitting 
meditatively  near  a  hedge  of  hawthorn  luxuriant  in  blossom. 
Above  the  bench  there  stands  an  old  statue  casting  a  clearly 
defined  shadow  upon  the  golden  sand,  as  if  to  point  to  the 
contrast  between  imperishable  stone  and  the  unstable  race  of 
men,  fading  away  like  the  autumn  leaves.  Well  in  the  fore- 
ground   a   labourer    is   mowing    down   the   tender    spring    grass 


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ENGLAND  153 

with    a    scythe — a    strange,   wild,    and    rugged    figure,   a   reaper 
whose  name  is  Death. 

It  was  not  long  before  evening  drew  on  for  the  painter,  and 
Death,  the  mighty  reaper,  laid  him  low. 

Of  a  nervous  and  sensitive  temperament,  Walker  had  one  of 
those  natures  which  find  their  way  with  difficulty  through  this 
rude  world  of  fact  Those  little  things  which  he  had  the  art 
of  painting  so  beautifully,  and  which  occupy  such  an  important 
place  in  his  work,  had,  in  another  sense,  more  influence  upon 
his  life  than  ought  to  have  been  the  case.  While  Mason  faced 
all  unpleasantnesses  with  stoical  indifference.  Walker  allowed 
himself  to  be  disturbed  and  hindered  in  his  work  by  every 
failure  and  every  sharp  wind  of  criticism.  In  addition  to  that 
he  was,  like  Mason,  a  consumptive  subject.  A  residence  in 
Algiers  merely  banished  the  insidious  disease  for  a  short  time. 
Amongst  the  last  works,  which  he  exhibited  in  1875,  a  con- 
siderable stir  was  made  by  a  drawing  called  "The  Unknown 
Land  : "  a  vessel  with  naked  men  is  drawing  near  the  shores 
of  a  wide  and  peaceful  island  bathed  in  a  magical  light.  Soon 
afterwards  Walker  had  himself  departed  to  that  unknown  land : 
he  died  in  Scotland  when  he  was  five-and-thirty.  His  body 
was  brought  to  the  little  churchyard  at  Cookham  on  the 
banks  of  the  Thames.  In  this  village  Fred  Walker  is  buried 
amid  the  fair  river  landscape  which  he  so  loved  and  so  often 
painted. 

After  the  Preraphaelite  revolution,  the  foundation  of  the 
school  of  Walker  indicated  the  last  stage  of  English  art.  His 
influence  was  far  greater  than  might  be  supposed  from  the  small 
number  of  his  works,  and  fifty  per  cent,  of  the  English  pictures 
in  every  exhibition  would  perhaps  never  have  been  painted  if 
he  had  not  been  born.  A  national  element  long  renounced,  that 
old  English  sentiment  which  once  inspired  the  landscapes  of 
Gainsborough  and  the  scenes  of  Morland,  and  was  lost  in  the 
hands  of  Wilkie  and  the  genre  painters,  lives  once  more  in 
Fred  Walker.  He  adapted  it  to  the  age  by  adding  some- 
thing of  Tennyson's  passion  for  nature.  There  is  a  touch  of 
symbolism  in  that  old   gate   which   he   painted   in   the   beautiful 

VOL.  III.  1 1 


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picture  of  1870.  He 
and  Mason  opened 
it  so  that  English 
art  might  pass  into 
this  new  domain, 
where  musical  sen- 
timent is  everything, 
where  one  is  buried 
in  sweet  reveries  at 
the  sight  of  a  flock 
of  geese  driven  by 
a  young  girl,  or 
a  labourer  stepping 
behind  his  plough, 
or  a  child  playing 
free  from  care  with 
pebbles  at  the 
water's  edge.  Their 
disciples  are  perhaps 
healthier,  or,  should 
one  say,  **  less  re- 
fined "  —  in  other 
words,  not  quite  so  sensitive  and  hyper-aesthetic  as  those  who 
opened  the  old  gate.  They  seem  physically  more  robust,  and 
can  better  face  the  sharp  air  of  reality.  They  no  longer  dissolve 
painting  altogether  into  music  and  poetry;  they  live  more  in 
the  world  at  every  hour,  and  not  merely  when  the  sun  is 
setting,  but  also  when  the  prosaic  daylight  exposes  objects  in 
their  material  heaviness.  But  the  tender  ground-tone,  the  effort 
to  seize  nature  in  soft  phases,  is  the  same  in  all.  Like  bees, 
they  suck  from  reality  only  its  sweets.  The  earnest,  tender, 
and  deeply  heartfelt  art  of  Walker  has  influenced  them  all. 

Evening  when  work  is  over,  the  end  of  summer,  twilight, 
autumn,  the  pale  and  golden  sky,  and  the  dead  leaves  are  the 
things  which  have  probably  made  the  most  profound  impression 
on  the  English  spirit.  The  hour  when  toil  is  laid  aside,  and 
rest  begins  and   people   seek   their  homes,  and  the    season  when 


^^^^^I^^^^^^Bf 

^^^^^^^^^^^^^Kr                                    ^  j^^^^RK    -j?^^=^9^^^^| 

^^^^^^^^^^^^^F                                          •  \  ^^HKmR*    -     '^^^^^^M 

^KK^^^^^Ktt      -.    '     .    ".;      ?'  ^''.  ;■-  T.*;. 

^B^^^Qp^^T^^II 

^^^K   \^T^^:.  i^         K           '^^9 

B^ll^jK 

HHR^^I^mB      ^1^ 

IISm^mm^^h^b^         ^B 

^w^^S^^^^^^^^ia^^ii^BS 

KH^^^I^  -j^  ^-j^g^y^QI^MHHI 

L'Afi.2 


[SmaiM  sc. 


BouGHTON  :   "  Snow  in  Spring.' 
(By  ptrmisswM  of  ihg  Artist.) 


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ENGLAND 


'55 


fires  are  first  lighted  are 
the  hour  and  the  season 
most  beloved  by  this 
people,  which,  with  all  its 
nide  energy,  is  yet  so 
tender  and  full  of  feeling. 
Repose  to  the  point  of 
enervation  and  the  stage 
where  it  passes  into  gentle 
melancholy  is  the  theme 
of  their  pictures — this,  and 
not  toil. 

How  many  have  been 
painted  in  the  last  thirty 
years  in  which  people  are 
returning  from  their  work 
of  an  evening  across  the 
country  !  The  people  in 
the  big  towns  look  upon 
the  country  with  the  eyes 
of  a  lover,  especially  those 
parts  of  it  which  lie  near 
the  town  ;  not  the  scenes  painted  by  Raffaelli,  but  the  parks 
and  public  gardens.  Soft,  undulating  valleys  and  gently  swelling 
hills  are  spread  around,  the  flowers  are  in  bloom,  and  the 
leaves  glance  in  the  sunshine.  And  over  this  country,  with  its 
trim  gravel  paths  and  its  green,  luxuriant  lawns,  there  comes 
a  well-to-do  people.  Even  the  labourers  seem  in  good  ease 
as  they  go  home  across  the  flowery  meadows. 

George  H.  Boughton  is  one  of  the  most  graceful  and  refined 
amongst  Walker's  followers.  By  birth  and  descent  a  country- 
man of  Crome  and  Cotman,  he  passed  his  youth  in  America, 
worked  several  years  in  Paris  from  1853,  and  in  1863  settled 
in  London,  where  he  is  exceedingly  active  as  a  draughtsman,  a 
writer,  and  a  painter.  His  charming  illustrations  for  Harpet^s 
Magazine,  where  he  also  published  his  delicate  story  The 
Return  of  the  Mayflower,  are   well   known.      As  a  painter,  too, 


-  VArtJ]  iSwainsc, 

Boughton  :  "  Green  Leaves  among  the  Sere." 
{By  permission  of  thg  Artist,) 


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VAfLk 


Boughton:   "The  Bearers  of  the  Burden."* 
(fiy  ptrmission  of  tht  Artist.) 


his  brush  was  only  occupied  by  pleasant  things,  whether  be- 
longing to  the  past  or  the  present  There  is  something  in  him 
both  of  the  delicacy  of  Gainsborough  and  of  the  poetry  of 
Memlinc.  He  delights  in  the  murmur  of  brooks  and  the  rustle  of 
leaves,  in  fresh  children  and  pretty  young  women  in  aesthetically 
fantastic  costume ;  he  loves  everything  delicate,  quiet,  and 
fragrant.  And  for  this  reason  he  also  takes  delight  in  old 
legends  entwined  with  blossoms,  and  attains  a  most  harmonious 
effect  when  he  places  shepherds  and  kings'  daughters  of  story 
and  steel-clad  knights  and  squires  in  his  charming  and  entirely 
modern  landscapes.  Almost  always  it  is  autumn,  winter,  or 
at  most  the  early  spring  in  his  pictures.  The  boughs  of  the 
trees  are  generally  bare,  though  sometimes  a  tender,  pointed 
yellowish  verdure  is  budding  upon  them.  At  times  the  mist 
of  November  hovers  over  the  country  like  a  delicate  veil ;  at 
times  the  snowflakes  fall  softly,  or  the  October  sun  gleams 
through  the  leafless  branches. 

Moreover  a  feeling  for  the  articulation  of  lines,  for  a  balance 


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VAri:\ 


Houghton  :   "  A  Breath  of  Wind." 
iBy  permission  of  tht  Artist.) 


[Artist  sc. 


of  composition,  unforced,  and  yet  giving  a  character  of  dis- 
tinction, is  peculiar  to  him  in  a  high  degree.  In  1877  he 
had  in  the  Royal  Academy  the  charming  picture  "A  Breath 
of  Wind."  Amid  a  soft  landscape  with  slender  trees  move 
the  thoroughly  Grecian  figures  of  the  more  shapely  English 
peasants,  whilst  the  tender  evening  light  is  shed  over  the 
gently  rising  hills.  His  picture  of  1878  he  named  "Green 
Leaves  among  the  Sere : "  a  group  of  children,  in  the  midst  of 
whom  the  young  mother  herself  looks  like  a  child,  are  seated 
amid  an  autumn  landscape,  where  the  leaves  fall,  and  the  sky 
is  shrouded  in  wintry  grey.  In  the  picture  "Snow  in  Spring" 
may  be  seen  a  party  of  charming  girls — little  modern  Tanagra 
figures — whom  the  sun  has  tempted  into  the  air  to  search  for 
the  earliest  woodland  snowdrops  under  the  guidance  of  a  damsel 
still  in  her  'teens.  Having  just  reached  a  secret  corner  of  the 
wood,  they  are  standing  with  their  flowers  in  their  hands 
surrounded    by   tremulous    boughs,   when    a   sudden    snowstorm 


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158  MODERN  FAINTING 

overtakes  them.  Thick  white  flakes  alight  upon  the  slender 
boughs,  and  combine  with  the  light  green  leaves  and  pale 
reddish  dresses  of 'the  children  in  making  a  delicate  harmony 
of  colour.  Among  his  legendary  pictures  the  poetic  "Love 
Conquers  all  Things "  in  particular  is  known  in  Germany :  a 
wild  shepherd's  daughter  sits  near  her  flock,  and  the  son  of  a 
king  gazes  into  her  eyes  lost  in  dream. 

Boughton  is  not  the  only  painter  of  budding  girlhood.  All 
English  literature  has  a  tender  feminine  trait.  Tennyson  is  the 
poet  most  widely  read,  and  he  has  won  all  hearts  chiefly  through 
his  portraits  of  women  :  Adeline,  Eleanore,  Lilian,  and  the  May 
Queen — that  delightful  gallery  of  pure  and  noble  figures.  In 
English  painting,  too,  it  is  seldom  men  who  are  represented,  but 
more  frequently  women  and  children,  especially  little  maidens 
in  their  fresh  pure  witchery. 

Belonging  still  to  the  older  period  there  is  Philip  H.  Calderon^ 
an  exceedingly  fertile  although  lukewarm  and  academical  artist^ 
in  whose  blood  is  a  good  deal  of  eff'eminate  Classicism.  When 
his  name  appears  in  a  catalogue  it  means  that  the  spectator 
will  be  led  into  an  artificial  region  peopled  with  pretty  girls- 
beings  who  are  neither  sad  nor  gay,  and  who  belong  neither  to 
the  present  nor  to  ancient  times,  to  no  age  in  particular  and  to 
no  clime.  Whenever  such  ethereal  girlish  figures  wear  the  costume 
of  the  Directoire  period,  Marcus  Stone  is  their  father.  He  is  like- 
wise one  of  the  older  men  whose  first  appearance  was  made 
before  the  time  of  Walker.  His  young  ladies  part  with  broken 
hearts  from  a  beloved  suitor,  turned  away  by  their  father,  and 
save  the  honour  of  their  family  by  giving  their  hand  to  a  wealthy 
but  unloved  aspirant,  or  else  they  are  solitary  and  lost  in  tender 
reveries.  In  his  earliest  period  Marcus  Stone  had  a  preference 
for  interiors  ;  rich  Directoire  furniture  and  objects  of  art  indicate 
the  year  in  which  the  narrative  takes  place  with  exactness. 
Later,  he  took  a  delight  in  placing  his  Rococo  ladies  and 
gentlemen  in  the  open  air,  upon  the  terraces  of  old  gardens  or 
in  sheltered  alleys.  All  his  pictures  are  pretty,  the  faces,  the 
figures,  and  the  accessories ;  in  relation  to  them  one  may 
use    the    adjective    "  pretty "    in    its    positive,    comparative,    or 


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ENGLAND  i6i 

superlative  degree.  In  England  Marcus  Stone  is  the  favourite 
painter  of  "sweethearts,"  and  it  cannot  be  easy  to  go  so  near 
the  boundaries  of  candied  genre  painting  and  yet  always  to 
preserve  a  certain  noblesse. 

Amongst  the  younger  men  G.  D.  Leslie,  the  son  of  Charles 
Leslie,  has  specially  the  secret  of  interpreting  innocent  feminine 
beauty,  that  somewhat  predetermined  but  charming  grace  derived 
from  Gainsborough  and  the  eighteenth  century.  A  young  lady 
who  has  lately  been  married  is  paying  a  visit  to  her  earlier 
school  friends,  and  is  gazed  upon  as  though  she  were  an  angel 
by  these  charming  girls.  Or  his  pretty  maidens  have  ensconced 
themselves  beneath  the  trees,  or  stand  on  the  shore  watching  a 
boat  at  sunset,  or  amuse  themselves  from  a  bridge  in  a  park  by 
throwing  flowers  into  the  water  and  looking  dreamily  after  them 
as  they  float  away.  Leslie's  pictures,  too,  are  very  pretty  and 
poetic,  and  have  much  silk  in  them  and  much  sun,  while  the 
soft,  pale  method  of  painting,  so  highly  aesthetic  in  its  delicate 
attenuation  of  colour,  corresponds  with  the  delicacy  of  their 
purport 

P.  G,  Morris,  not  less  delicate  in  feeling  and  execution,  be- 
came specially  known  by  a  "Communion  in  Dieppe."  Directly 
facing  the  spectator  a  train  of  pretty  communicants  move  upon 
the  seashore,  assuming  an  air  of  dignified  superiority,  like  young 
ladies  from  Brighton  or  Folkestone.  A  bluish  light  plays  over 
the  white  dresses  of  the  girls  and  over  the  blue  jackets  of  the 
sailors  lounging  about  the  quay ;  it  fills  the  pale  blue  sky  with 
a  misty  vibration  and  glances  sportively  upon  the  green  waves 
of  the  sea.  "  The  Reaper  and  the  Flowers "  was  a  thoroughly 
English  picture,  a  graceful  allegory  after  the  fashion  of  Fred 
Walker.  On  their  way  from  school  a  party  of  children  meet 
at  the  verge  of  a  meadow  an  old  peasant  going  home  from 
his  day's  work  with  a  scythe  upon  his  shoulder.  In  the 
dancing  step  of  the  little  ones  may  be  seen  the  influence 
of  Greek  statues;  they  float  along  as  if  borne  by  the  zephyr, 
with  a  rhythmical  motion  which  real  school-children  do  not 
usually  have.  But  the  old  peasant  coming  towards  them  is 
intended    to    recall    the    contrast    between    youth    and    age,   as 


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i62  MODERN  PAINTING 

in  Fred  Walker's  "Harbour  of  Refuge;"  while  the  scythe 
glittering  in  the  last  rays  of  the  setting  sun  signifies  the 
scythe  of  Fate,  the  scythe  of  death  which  does  not  even  spare 
the  child. 

And  thus  the  limits  of  English  painting  are  defined.  It 
always  reveals  a  certain  conflict  between  fact  and  poetry,  reverie 
and  life.  For  whenever  the  scene  does  not  admit  of  a  directly 
ethical  interpretation,  refuge  is  invariably  taken  in  lyricism.  The 
wide  field  which  lies  between,  where  powerful  works  are  nourished, 
works  which  have  their  roots  in  reality,  and  derive  their  life 
from  it  alone,  has  not  been  definitely  conquered  by  English 
art.  England  is  the  greatest  producer  and  consumer  of  the 
earth,  and  her  people  press  the  marrow  out  of  things  as  no 
other  have  ever  done:  and  yet  this  land  of  industry  knows 
nothing  of  pictures  in  which  work  is  being  accomplished ; 
this  country,  which  is  a  network  of  railway  lines,  has  never 
seen  a  railway  painted.  Even  horses  are  less  and  less  fre- 
quently represented  in  English  art,  and  sport  finds  no  re- 
pression there  whatever.  Much  as  the  Englishman  loves  it 
from  a  sense  of  its  wholesomeness,  he  does  not  consider  it 
sufficiently  aesthetic  to  be  painted,  a  matter  upon  which  Wilkie 
Collins  enlarges  in  an  amusing  way  in  his  book  Man  and  Wife, 

And  in  English  pictures  there  are  no  poor,  or,  at  any  rate, 
none  who  are  wretched  in  the  extreme.  For  although  the 
Chelsea  Pensioners  were  a  favoured  theme  in  painting,  there 
were  none  of  them  miserable  and  heavy-laden ;  they  were 
rather  types  of  the  happy  poor  who  were  carefully  tended; 
If  English  painters  are  otherwise  induced  to  represent  the 
poor,  they  depict  a  room  kept  in  exemplary  order,  and 
endeavour  to  display  some  touching  or  admirable  trait  in 
honest  and  admirable  people.  In  fact  people  seem  to  be  good 
and  honourable  wherever  they  are  found.  Everywhere  there  is 
content  and  humility,  even  in  misfortune.  Even  where  actual 
need  is  represented,  it  is  only  done  in  the  effort  to  give 
expression  to  what  is  moving  in  certain  dispensations  of  fate, 
and  to  create  a  lofty  and  conciliating  effect  by  the  contrast 
between  misfortune  and  man's  noble  trust  in  God. 


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ENGLAND  165 

John  R.  Retd,  a  Scotchman  by  birth,  but  residing  in  London, 
has  treated  scenes  from  life  upon  the  seacoast  in  this  manner. 
How  different  his  works  are  from  the  tragedies  of  Joseph 
Israels,  or  the  grim  naturalism  of  Michael  Ancher !  He  occu- 
pies himself  only  with  the  bright  side  of  life,  with  its  colour 
and  sunshine,  not  with  the  dark  side,  with  its  toils.  He  paints 
the  inhabitants  of  the  country  in  their  Sunday  best,  as  they  sit 
telling  stories,  or  as  they  go  a-hunting,  or  regale  themselves  in 
the  garden  of  an  inn.  The  old  rustics  who  sit  happy  with 
their  pipes  and  beer  in  his  "Cricket  Match"  are  typical  of 
everything  that  he  has  painted. 

And  even  when,  once  in  a  way,  a  more  gloomy  trait  appears 
in  his  pictures,  it  is  there  only  that  the  light  may  shine  the 
more  brightly.  The  poor  old  flute-player  who  sits  homeless 
upon  a  bench  near  the  house  is  placed  there  merely  to  show 
how  well  off  are  the  children  who  are  hurrying  merrily  home 
after  school.  His  picture  of  1890,  indeed,  treated  a  scene  of 
shipwreck,  but  a  passage  from  a  poet  stood  beneath ;  there 
was  not  a  lost  sailor  to  be  seen,  and  all  the  tenderness  of  the 
artist  is  devoted  to  the  pretty  children  and  the  young  women 
gazing  with  anxiety  and  compassion  across  the  sea. 

Frank  Holl  was  in  the  habit  of  giving  his  pictures  a  more 
lachrymose  touch,  together  with  a  more  sombre  and  ascetic 
harmony  of  colour.  He  borrowed  his  subjects  from  the  life  of 
the  humble  classes,  always  searching  moreover  for  melancholy 
features  ;  he  took  delight  in  representing  human  virtue  in  mis- 
fortune, and  for  the  sake  of  greater  effect  he  frequently  chose  a 
verse  from  the  Bible  as  the  title.  Thus  the  work  with  which 
he  first  won  the  English  public  was  a  picture  exhibited  in  1869: 
"  The  Lord  gave,  the  Lord  hath  taken  away ;  blessed  be  the 
name  of  the  Lord."  A  family  of  five  brothers  and  sisters,  who 
have  just  lost  their  mother,  are  assembled  round  the  breakfast- 
table  in  a  poorly  furnished  room.  One  sister  is  crying,  another 
is  sadly  looking  straight  before  her,  whilst  a  third  is  praying 
with  folded  hands.  The  younger  brother,  a  sailor,  has  just 
reached  home  from  a  voyage,  to  close  his  dying  mother's  eyes, 
and  the  eldest  of  all,  a  young  and  earnest  curate,  is  endeavouring 


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1 66 


MODERN  FAINTING 


to  console  his  brother 
and  sisters  with  the 
words  of  Job. 

The  next  picture, 
exhibited  in  1 87 1,  he 
called  "  No  Tidings 
from  the  Sea,"  and 
represented  in  it  a 
fisherman's  family — 
grandmother,  mother, 
and  child—who  in  a 
cheerless  room  are 
anxiously  expecting 
the  return  of  a  sailor. 
"Leaving  Home" 
showed  four  people 
sitting  on  a  bench 
outside  a  waiting- 
room  at  a  railway 
station.  To  awaken 
the  spectator's  pity 
"Third  Class"  is  writ- 
ten in  large  letters 
upon  the  window  just  above  their  heads.  The  principal  figure 
is  a  lady  dressed  in  black,  who  is  counting,  in  a  somewhat 
obtrusive  manner,  the  little  money  which  she  still  has  left 

In  the  picture  "  Necessity  knows  no  Law "  a  poor  woman 
with  a  child  in  her  arms  has  entered  a  pawnshop  to  borrow 
money  on  her  wedding-ring ;  in  another,  women  of  the  poorer 
class  are  to  be  seen  walking  along  with  their  soldier  sons 
and  husbands  who  have  been  called  out  on  active  service. 
One  of  them  clasps  tightly  to  her  breast  her  little  <:hild,  the 
only  one  still  remaining  to  her  in  life,  whilst  an  aged  widow 
presses  the  hand  of  her  son  with  the  sad  presentiment  that, 
even  if  he  comes  back  to  her,  she  will  probably  not  have 
long  to  live  after  his  return.  Not  only  did  Frank  Holl  paint 
stories   for  his   countrymen,   but  he   also   painted    them    big  in 


i.  ■ 

^ 

i 

^■mi 

1 

i 

Ltipzig:  iie§mattM.] 

Reid:  "The  Rival  Grandfathers." 

{.By  ptrmissioM  of  ttu  Corporation  of  Liverpool^  the  owners 
of  the  picture.) 


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ENGLAND 


169 


L'j4rt.} 


Holl:   "Leaving  Home." 


IRamus  bc. 


majuscule  characters  which  were  legible  without  spectacles, 
and  he  partially  owed  his  splendid  successes  to  this  cheap 
sentimentality. 

Almost  everywhere  the  interest  of  subject  still  plays  the 
first  part,  and  this  slightly  lachrymose  trait  bordering  on  genre^ 
this  lyrically  tender  or  allegorically  subtile  element,  which  runs 
through  English  figure  pictures,  would  easily  degenerate  into 
vaporous  enervation  in  another  country.  In  England  portrait- 
painting,  which  now,  as  in  the  days  of  Reynolds,  is  the  greatest 
title  of  honour  possessed  by  English  art,  invariably  maintains 
its  union  with  direct  reality.  By  acknowledgment  portrait- 
painting  in  the  present  day  is  exceedingly  earnest:  it  admits 
of  no  decorative  luxuriousness,  no  sport  with  hangings  and 
draperies,  no  pose;  and  English  likenesses  have  this  severe 
actuality  in  the  highest  degree.  Stiff-necked  obstinacy,  sanguine 
resolution,  and  muscular  force  of  will  are  often  spoken  of  as 
an  Englishman's  national  characteristics,  and  a  trace  of  these 
qualities  is  also  betrayed  in  English  portrait-painting.  The 
self-reliance  of  the  English  is  far  too  great  to  suffer  or  demand 


VOL.  III. 


12 


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1 70  MODERN  FAINTING 

any  servile  habit  of  flattery :  everything  is  free  from  pose, 
plain,  and  simple.  Let  the  subject  be  the  weather-beaten  figure 
of  an  old  sailor  or  the  dazzling  freshness  of  English  youth,  there 
is  a  remarkable  energy  and  force  of  life  in  all  their  works,  even 
in  the  pictures  of  children  with  their  broad  open  brow,  finely 
chiselled  nose,  and  assured  and  penetrative  glance.  And  as 
portrait-painting  in  England,  to  its  own  advantage  and  the 
benefit  of  all  art,  has  never  been  considered  as  an  isolated 
province,  such  pictures  may  be  specified  among  the  works  of 
the  most  frigid  academician  as  well  as  amongst  those  of  the 
most  vigorous  naturalist.  Frank  Holl,  who  had  such  a  Dussel- 
dorfian  tinge  in  his  more  elaborate  pictures,  showed  at  the 
close  of  his  life,  in  his  likenesses  of  the  engraver  Samuel  Cousins, 
Lord  Duflferin,  Mr.  Joseph  Chamberlain,  Lord  Wolseley,  Mr. 
Gladstone,  the  Duke  of  Cleveland,  Sir  George  Trevelyan,  and 
Lord  Spencer,  a  simple  virility  altogether  wanting  in  his  earlier 
works.  They  had  a  trenchant  characterization  and  an  unforced 
pose  which  were  striking  even  in  England.  It  is  scarcely  possible 
to  exhibit  people  more  naturally,  or  more  completely  to  banish 
from  their  expression  that  concentrated  air  of  attentiveness 
which  suggests  photography  and  so  easily  intrudes  into  a  portrait. 
Even  Leighton,  so  devoid  of  temperament,  so  entirely  devoted 
to  the  measured  art  of  the  ancients,  became  at  once  nervous 
and  almost  brutal  in  his  power  when  he  painted  a  likeness  in 
place  of  ideal  Grecian  figures.  His  vivid  and  forcible  portrait 
of  Sir  Richard  Burton,  the  celebrated  African  traveller,  would 
do  honour  to  the  greatest  portrait-painter  of  the  Continent. 

Amongst  portrait-painters  by  profession  Walter  Ouless  will 
probably  merit  the  place  of  honour  immediately  after  Watts  as 
an  impressive  exponent  of  character.  He  has  assimilated  much 
from  his  master  Millais — not  merely  the  heaviness  of  colour, 
which  often  has  a  disturbing  effect  in  the  latter,  but  also  Millais' 
powerful  flight  of  style,  always  so  free  from  false  rhetoric  The 
chemical  expert  Pochin,  as  Ouless  painted  him  in  1865,  does 
not  pose  in  the  picture  nor  allow  himself  to  be  disturbed  in  his 
researches.  It  is  a  thoroughly  contemporary  portrait,  one  of 
those  brilliant  successes  which  later  arose  in   France  also.     The 


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[C.  Hnttschel  8c. 


Sant:   "A  Floral  Offering.** 
(By  permission  of  Messrs,  Dowde^weU  <S*  DotudeswellSf  the  owners  of  the  copyright,) 


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ENGLAND 


173 


Recorder  of  London,  Mr.  Russell  Gurney,  he  likewise  painted 
in  his  professional  character  and  in  his  robes  of  office.  In  its 
inflexible  graveness  and  earnest  dignity  the  likeness  is  almost 
more  than  the  portrait  of  an  individual ;  it  seems  the  embodi- 
ment of  the  proud  English  Bench  resting  upon  the  most  ancient 
traditions.  His  portrait  of  Cardinal  Manning  had  the  same  con- 
vincing power  of  observation,  the  same  large  and  sure  technique. 
The  soft  light  plays  upon  the  ermine  and  the  red  stole,  and 
falls  full  upon  the  fine,  austere,  and  noble  face. 

Besides  Ouless  mention  may  be  made  from  among  the  great 
number  of  portrait-painters  of/.  /.  Shannon  with  his  powerful 
and  firmly-painted  likenesses,  of  James  Sant  with  his  sincere 
and  energetic  portraits  of  women,  of  Mouat  Loudan  with  his 
pretty  pictures  of  children,  and  of  the  many-sided  Charles  W. 
Furse.  Hubert  Herkomer  was  the  most  celebrated  in  Germany, 
and  is  probably  the  most  skilful  of  the  young  men  whom  The 
Graphic  brought  into  eminence  in  the  seventies. 

The  career  of  Hubert  Herkomer  is  amongst  those  adventurous 
ones  which  become  less  and  less  frequent  in  the  nineteenth 
century  ;  there  are  not  many  who  have  risen  so  rapidly  to  fame 
and  fortune  from  such  modest  circumstances.  His  father  was  a 
carver  of  sacred  images  in  the  little  Bavarian  village  of  Waal, 
where  Hubert  was  born  in  1849.  In  1851  the  enterprising 
Bavarian  tried  his  fortune  in  the  New  World.  But  there  he 
-did  not  succeed  in  making  progress,  and  in  1857  the  family 
appeared  in  England,  at  Southampton.  Here  he  fought  his 
way  honestly  at  the  bench  where  he  carved  and  as  a  journey- 
man worker,  whilst  his  wife  gave  lessons  in  music.  A  commission 
to  carve  Peter  Vischer's  four  evangelists  in  wood  brought  him 
with  his  son  to  Munich,  where  they  occupied  a  room  in  the 
back  buildings  of  a  master-carpenter's  house,  in  which  they  slept, 
cooked,  and  worked.  In  the  preparatory  class  of  the  Munich 
Academy  the  younger  Herkomer  received  his  first  teaching,  and 
began  to  draw  from  the  nude,  the  antique  serving  as  model. 
At  a  frame-maker's  in  Southampton  he  gave  his  first  exhibition, 
and  drew  illustrations  for  a  comic  paper.  With  the  few  pence 
which  he  saved  from  these  earnings  he  went  to  London,  where 


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174  MODERN  PAINTING 

he  lived  from  hand  to  mouth  with  a  companion  as  poor  as  him- 
self.     He  cooked,  and  his  friend  scoured  the  pans ;    meanwhile 
he  worked  as  a  mason  on  the  frieze  of  the   South   Kensington- 
Museum,   and   hired   himself  out   for   the   evenings  as  a   zither- 
player.      Then  The  Grapliic  became  his  salvation,  and  after  his- 
drawings  had  made  him   known  he   soon   had   success   with   his- 
paintings.      "After  the   Toil   of  the   Day,"   a   picture  which   he 
exhibited   in   the   Royal   Academy  of   1873— a  thoughtful   scene 
from  the   village   life   of  Bavaria,  carried   out  after   the   manner 
of    Fred    Walker — found    a    purchaser    immediately.      He    was 
then   able  to   make  a    home  for  his   parents    in   the  village  of 
Bushey,    which    he    afterwards    glorified    in    the    picture    "  Our 
Village,"  and   he    began    his    masterpiece   "The    Last    Muster,'*^ 
which  obtained  in  1878  the  great  medal  at  the  World  Exhibition^ 
in  Paris.      Since  then  he  found  the  eyes  of  the   English  public 
fixed   upon   him.      There   followed   at   first  a   series  of  pictures 
in  which  he  proceeded   upon  the   lines  of  Fred  Walker's  poetic 
realism  :  "  Eventide,"  a  scene  in  the  Westminster  Union  ;    "  The 
Gloom  of  Idwal,"  a  romantic  mountain  picture  from  North  Wales  ; 
"God's  Shrine,"  a  lonely  Bavarian  hill-side   path,  with  a  shrine 
and    peasants    praying ;    "  Der    Bittgang,"   a  group    of   country" 
people   praying   for  harvest ;  "  Contrasts,"   a  picture  of  English 
ladies  surrounded  by  school-children  in  the  Bavarian  mountains. 
At  the  same  time   he  became   celebrated   as  a  portrait-painter,, 
his  first  successes   in  this  field   being  the   likenesses  of  Wagner 
and  Tennyson,  Archibald  Forbes,   his  own  father,  John  Ruskin,. 
Stanley,  and  the  conductor  Hans  Richter.     And  he  reached  the 
summit  of    his  international    fame  when    his   portrait    of   Miss 
Grant,   "The   Lady  in   White,"   appeared   in    1886;   all   Europe- 
spoke   of  it  at  the   time,  and   it   called   forth   entire   bundles  of: 
poems,  anecdotes,  biographies,  and   romances.      From  that  time 
he  advanced  in  his  career  with  rapid  strides. 

The  University  of  Oxford  appointed  him  Professor  of  the 
Fine  Arts.  He  opened  a  School  of  Art  and  had  etchings, 
copper  engravings,  and  engravings  in  mezzotint  produced  by  his 
pupils  under  his  guidance.  He  wrote  articles  in  the  London 
papers    upon    the  social    question,    and   political    economy,   and 


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ENGLAND 


177 


Magaziiu  of  Art. '\ 

Herkomer  :  John  Ruskin. 
(.By  permission  of  the  Artist,) 


all  manner  of  subjects,  an  article 
signed  with  Herkomer's  name 
being  always  capable  of  creating 
interest  He  has  his  own  theatre, 
and  produces  in  it  operas  of 
which  he  writes  the  text  and 
the  music,  and  manages  the  re- 
hearsals and  the  scenery,  beside 
playing  the  leading  parts. 

Yet  it  is  just  his  likenesses 
of  women,  the  foundations  of 
his  fame,  which  do  not  seem  in 
general  entirely  to  justify  the 
painter  s  great  reputation.  Miss 
Grant  was  certainly  a  captiva- 
ting woman,  and  she  broke 
men's  hearts  wherever  she  made 
her  appearance.  People  looked 
again  and  again  into  the  brilliant  brown  eyes  with  which 
she  looked  so  composedly  before  her  ;  they  were  overwhelmed 
by  her  austere  and  lofty  virginal  beauty.  "  The  Lady  in  Black 
(An  American  Lady)  "  made  a  yet  more  piquant  and  spiritualized 
eflfect.  Here  was  the  unopened  bud,  and  there  the  woman  who 
has  had  experience  of  the  delights  and  disappointments  of  life. 
Here  was  unapproachable  pride,  and  there  a  trait  of  distinction 
and  of  suffering,  an  almost  weary  carriage  of  the  body.  There 
will  certainly  be  an  interesting  gallery  of  beauty  if  Herkomer 
unites  these  "  types  of  women "  in  a  series.  But  even  in  the 
first  picture  how  much  of  all  the  admiration  excited  was  due 
to  the  painter  and  how  much  to  the  model?  At  bottom. 
Miss  Grant  made  a  success  because  she  was  such  a  pretty 
girL  The  arrangement  of  white  against  white  was  nothing  new : 
Whistler,  a  far  greater  artist,  had  already  painted  a  "  White 
Girl"  in  1863,  and  it  was  a  much  greater  work  of  art,  though 
on  account  of  the  attractiveness  of  the  model  being  less 
powerful  it  triumphed  only  in  the  narrower  circles  of  artists. 
Bastien-Lepage,    who    set    himself    the    same    problem    in    his 


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178  MODERN  PAINTING 

"Sara  Bernhardt,"  had  also  run  through  the  scale  ot  white  with 
greater  sureness.  And  Herkomer's  later  pictures  of  women— 
"The  Lady  in  Yellow,"  Lady  Helen  Fergusson,  and  others — are 
even  less  alluring  considered  as  works  of  art  The  reserve 
and  evenness  of  the  execution  give  his  portraits  a  somewhat 
clotted  and  stiff  appearance.  Good  modelling  and  exceedingly 
vigorous  drawing  may  perhaps  ensure  great  correctness  in  the 
counterfeit  of  the  originals,  but  the  life  of  the  picture  vanishes 
beneath  the  greasy  technique,  the  soapy  painting  through  which 
materials  of  drapery  and  flesh-tints  assume  quite  the  same  values. 
There  is  nothing  in  it  of  the  transparency,  the  rosy  delicacy, 
freshness,  and  flower-like  bloom  of  Gainsborough's  women  and 
girls.  Herkomer  appears  in  these  pictures  as  a  salon  painter  in 
whom  a  tame  but  tastefully  cultivated  temperament  is  expressed 
with  charm.  Even  his  landscapes  with  their  trim  peasants* 
cottages  and  their  soft  moods  of  sunset  have  not  enriched  with 
new  notes  the  scale  executed  by  Walker. 

All  the  more  astonishing  is  the  earnest  certainty  of  touch 
and  the  robust  energy  which  are  visible  in  his  other  works. 
His  portraits  of  men,  especially  the  one  of  his  father,  that  kingly 
old  man  with  the  long,  white  beard  and  the  furrowed  brow,  take 
their  place  beside  the  best  productions  of  English  portraiture, 
which  are  chiselled,  as  it  were,  in  stone.  In  "The  Last  Muster  " 
he  showed  that  it  is  possible  to  be  simple  and  yet  strike  a  pro- 
found note  and  even  attain  greatness.  For  there  is  something 
great  in  these  old  warriors,  who  at  the  end  of  their  days  are 
praying,  having  never  troubled  themselves  over  prayer  during 
all  their  lives,  who  have  travelled  so  far  and  staked  their  lives 
dozens  of  times,  and  are  now  drawing  their  last  breath  softly 
upon  the  seats  of  a  church.  Even  his  more  recent  groups — 
"  The  Assemblage  of  the  Curators  of  the  Charterhouse "  and 
"  The  Session  of  the  Magistrates  of  Landsberg  " — are  magnificent 
examples  of  realistic  art,  full  of  imposing  strength  and  soundness. 
In  the  representation  of  these  citizens  the  genius  of  the  master 
who  in  his  "  Chelsea  Pensioners "  created  one  of  the  "  Doelen 
pieces"  of  the  nineteenth  century  revealed  itself  afresh  in  all  its 
greatness. 


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ENGLAND  i8i 

Beside  portrait-painting  the  painting  of  landscape  stands 
now  as  ever  in  full  blossom  amongst  the  English ;  not  that  the 
artists  of  to-day  are  more  consistently  faithful  to  truth  than 
their  predecessors,  or  that  they  seem  more  modern  in  the  study 
of  light  In  the  province  of  landscape  as  in  that  of  figure- 
painting  far  more  weight  is  laid  upon  subject  than  on  the  moods 
of  atmosphere.  If  one  compares  the  modern  English  painters 
with  Crome  and  Constable,  one  finds  them  wanting  in  boldness 
and  creative  force ;  and  placed  beside  Monet  they  seem  to 
be  diffident  altogether.  But  a  touching  reverence  for  nature 
gives  almost  all  their  pictures  a  singularly  chaste  and  fragrant 
charm. 

Of  course  all  the  influences  which  have  affected  English  art 
in  other  respects  are  likewise  reflected  in  landscape-painting. 
The  epoch-making  activity  of  the  Preraphaelites,  the  passionate 
earnestness  of  Ruskin*s  love  for  nature,  as  well  as  the  influence 
of  foreign  art,  have  all  left  their  traces.  In  his  own  manner 
Constable  had  spoken  the  last  word.  The  principal  thing  in  him 
as  in  Cox  was  the  study  of  atmospheric  effects  and  of  the  dramatic 
life  of  air.  They  neither  of  them  troubled  themselves  about  local 
colour,  but  sought  to  render  the  tones  which  are  formed  under 
atmospheric  and  meteorological  influences ;  they  altogether  sacri- 
ficed the  completion  of  the  details  of  subject  to  seizing  the 
momentary  impression.  In  Turner,  generally  speaking,  it  was  only 
the  air  that  lived  Trees  and  buildings,  rocks  and  water,  are 
merely  repoussoirs  for  the  atmosphere ;  they,  are  exclusively  or- 
dained to  lead  the  eye  through  the  mysterious  depths  of  light 
and  shadow.  The  intangible  absorbed  what  could  be  touched 
and  handled.  As  a  natural  reaction  there  came  this  Preraphaelite 
landscape,  and  by  a  curious  irony  of  chance  the  writer  who  had 
done  most  for  Turner's  fame  was  also  he  who  first  welcomed 
this  Preraphaelite  landscape  school.  Everything  which  the  old 
school  had  neglected  now  became  the  essential  object  of  painting. 
The  landscape-painters  fell  in  love  with  the  earth,  with  the 
woods  and  the  fields ;  and  the  more  autumn  resolved  the  wide 
green  harmony  of  nature  into  a  sport  of  colours  multiplied  a 
thousand    times,    the    more    did    they    love    it.      Thousands  of 


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MODERN  PAINTING 


BroUura  photu,\ 

Herkomer:  "Hard  Times." 
(By  permission  of  the  Mancheiter  Art  GaUery,  the  owners  of  the  picture.) 

things  were  there  to  be  seen.  First,  how  the  foliage  turned 
yellow  and  red  and  brown,  and  then  how  it  fell  away :  how 
it  was  scattered  upon  a  windy  day,  whirling  in  a  yellow  drift 
of  leaves ;  how  in  still  weather  leaf  after  leaf  lightly  rustled  to 
the  ground  from  between  the  wavering  brown  boughs.  And 
then  when  the  foliage  fell  from  the  leaves  and  bushes  the  most 
inviolate  secrets  of  summer  came  to  light ;  there  lay  around 
quantities  of  bright  seeds  and  berries  rich  in  colour,  brown  nuts, 
smooth  acorns,  black  and  glossy  sloes,  and  scarlet  haws.  In 
the  leafless  beeches  there  clustered  pointed  beechmast,  the  mug- 
wort  bent  beneath  its  heavy  red  bunches,  late  blackberries  lay 
black  and  brown  amid  the  damp  foliage  upon  the  road,  bil- 
berries grew  amid  the  heather,  and  wild  raspberries  bore  their 
dull  red  fruit  once  again.  The  dying  ferns  took  a  hundred 
colours  ;  the  moss  shgt  up  like  the  ears  of  a  miniature  cornfield. 


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MagoMm*  of  Art,] 


Herkomer:  **The  L\st  Muster." 
{By  ^trmiMioH  oj  Messrs.  Bouasod,  Valadon  <S>  Co.,  tkt  owners  o;  the  picture.) 


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ENGLAND 


T85 


Eager  as  children 
the  landscape- 
painters  roamed 
here  and  there 
across  the  wood- 
land, to  discover 
its  treasures  and  its 
curiosities.  They 
understood  how  to 
paint  a  bundle  of 
hay  with  such  exact- 
ness that  a  botanist 
could  decide  upon 
the  species  of  every 
blade.  One  of 
them  lived  for  three 
months  under  can- 
vas, so  as  thoroughly 
to  know  a  landscape 
of  heath.  Confused 
through  detail,  they 
lost  their  view  of 
the  whole,  and  only 
made  a  return  to  modernity  when  they  came  to  study  the 
Parisian  landscape-painters.  Thus  English  art  in  this  matter 
made  a  curious  circuit,  giving  and  taking.  First,  the  English 
fertilized  French  art ;  but  at  the  time  when  French  artists  stood 
under  the  influence  of  the  English,  the  latter  swerved  in  the 
opposite  direction,  until  they  ultimately  received  from  France 
the  impulse  which  led  them  back  into  the  old  way. 

In  accordance  with  these  different  influences,  several  currents 
which  cross  each  other  and  mingle  are  to  be  found  flowing 
side  by  side  in  English  landscape-painting :  upon  one  side  a 
spirit  of  prosaic  reasonableness,  a  striving  after  clearness  and 
precision,  which  does  not  know  how  to  sacrifice  detail,  and  is 
therefore  in  want  of  pictorial  totality  of  effect ;  on  the  other 
side  an  artistic  pantheism  which  rises  at  times  to  high  lyrical 
VOL.  III.  13 


{.Artist  8c, 
Herkomer:  Miss  Grant. 
{By  p€rmts8iOH  of  Messrs.  Obetch  <S>  Co.,  thg  owners  oj  thg 
copyright.) 


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i86 


MODERN  PAINTING 


poetry    in    spite    of 
many  dissonances. 

The  pictures  of 
Cedl  Lawson  lead  to 
the  point  where  the 
Preraphaelites  begin. 
The  elder  painters, 
with  their  powerful 
treatment  and  the 
freedom  and  bold- 
ness of  their  exe- 
cution, still  keep 
altogether  on  the 
lines  of  Constable, 
whereas  in  later 
painters,  with  their 
minute  elaboration 
of  all  particularities, 
the  influence  of 
the  Preraphaelites 
becomes  more  and 
more  apparent. 

Here,  where  Cecil  Lawson  ended,  James  Clarke  Hook  began, 
the  great  patriarch  who  has  even  now  lost  nothing  of  the 
strength  with  which  he  opened  the  eyes  of  the  world  forty 
years  ago  to  the  depth  of  colouring  and  the  enchanting  life  of 
nature,  even  in  its  individual  details.  His  pictures,  especially 
those  sunsets  which  he  paints  with  such  delight,  have  something 
devout  and  religious  in  them ;  they  have  the  effect  of  a  prayer 
or  a  hymn,  and  often  possess  a  solemnity  which  is  entirely 
biblical,  in  spite  of  their  brusque,  pungent  colours.  In  his  later 
period  he  principally  devoted  himself  to  sea-pieces,  and  in  doing 
so  receded  from  the  Preraphaelite  painting  of  detail  characteristic 
of  his  youthful  period.  His  pictures  give  one  the  breath  of  the 
sea,  and  his  sailors  are  old  sea-wolves.  All  that  remains  from 
his  Preraphaelite  period  is  that,  as  a  rule,  they  carry  a  certain 
burden  of  ideas. 


iArtUtu, 
Herkomer  :   <*  An  American  Lady." 
{By  permission  of  Mr,  T,  McLean,  the  owner  of  the  copyright.) 


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ENGLAND  189 

Vicat  Cole,  likewise  one  of  the  older  school,  is  unequal  and 
less  important.  From  many  of  his  pictures  one  receives  the 
impression  that  he  has  directly  copied  Constable,  and  others 
are  bathed  in  dull  yellow  tones ;  nevertheless  he  has  sometimes 
painted  autumn  pictures,  felicitous  and  noble  landscapes,  in 
which  there  is  really  a  reflection  of  the  sun  of  Claude  Lorrain. 

With  much  greater  freedom  does  Colin  Hunter  approach 
nature,  and  he  has  the  secret  of  seizing  her  boldly  in  her  most 
impressive  moments.  The  twilight,  with  its  mysterious,  inter- 
penetrating tremor  of  colours  of  a  thousand  shades,  its  shine 
and  glimmer  of  water,  with  the  sky  brooding  heavily  above,  is 
what  fascinates  him  most  of  all.  Sometimes  he  represents  the 
dawn,  as  in  "  The  Herring  Market  at  Sea ; "  sometimes  the  pale 
tawny  sunset,  as  in  "  The  Gatherers  of  Seaweed,"  in  the  South 
Kensington  Museum.  His  men  are  always  in  a  state  of  restless 
activity,  whether  they  are  making  the  most  of  the  last  moments 
of  light  or  facing  the  daybreak  with  renewed  energies. 

Although  resident  in  London,  he  and  Hook  are  the  true 
-standard-bearers  of  the  forcible  Scotch  school  of  landscape. 
MacCallunty  MacWhirter,  and  James  Macbeth,  with  whom  John 
Brett,  the  landscape-painter  of  Cornwall,  may  be  associated,  are. 
all  gnarled,  Northern  personalities.  Their  strong,  dark  tones 
stand  often  beside  each  other  with  a  little  hardness,  but  they 
sum  up  the  great  glimpses  of  nature  admirably.  Their  brush 
has  no  tenderness,  their  spirit  does  not  lightly  yield  to  dreami- 
ness, but  they  stand  with  both  feet  firmly  planted  on  the  earth, 
and  they  clasp  reality  in  a  sound  and  manly  fashion  with  both 
arms.  Their  deeply  toned  pictures,  with  red  wooden  houses, 
darkly  painted  vessels,  veiled  skies,  and  rude  fishermen  with  all 
their  heart  in  their  work,  waken  strong  and  intimate  emotions. 
The  difference  between  these  Scots  and  the  tentative  spirits  of 
the  younger  generation  of  the  following  of  Walker  and  Mason 
is  like  that  between  Rousseau  and  Dupr^  as  opposed  to 
Chintreuil  and  Daubigny.  The  Scotch  painters  are  sombre  and 
virile;  they  have  an  accent  of  depth  and  truth,  and  a  dark, 
ascetic  harmony  of  colour.  Even  as  landscape-painters  the 
English    love   what    is   delicate   in   nature,  what   is  refined   and 


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J90  MODERN  PAINTING 

tender,  familiar  and  modest :  the  blooming  apple-trees  and  the 
budding  birches,  the  odour  of  the  cowshed  and  the  scent  of  hay, 
the  chime  of  sheep-bells  and  the  hum  of  gnats.  They  seek  no 
great  emotions,  but  are  merely  amiable  and  kindly,  and  their 
pictures  give  one  the  feeling  of  standing  at  the  window  upon  a 
country  excursion,  and  looking  out  at  the  laughing  and  budding 
spring.  In  her  novel  North  and  South  Mrs.  Gaskell  has  given 
charming  expression  to  the  glow  of  this  feeling  of  having  fled 
from  the  smoke  and  dirt  of  industrial  towns  to  breathe  the 
fresh  air  and  see  the  sun  go  down  in  the  prosperous  country, 
where  the  meadows  are  fresh  and  well-kept,  and  where  the 
flowers  are  fragrant  and  the  leaves  glance  in  the  sunshine.  In 
the  pictures  of  the  Scotch  artists  toiling  men  are  moving  busily ; 
for  the  English,  nature  merely  exists  that  man  may  have  his 
pleasure  in  her.  Not  only  is  everything  which  renders  her  the 
prosaic  handmaiden  of  mankind  scrupulously  avoided,  but  all 
abruptnesses  of  landscape,  all  the  chance  incidents  of  mountain 
scenery ;  and,  indeed,  they  are  not  of  frequent  occurrence  in 
nature  as  she  is  in  England.  A  familiar  corner  of  the  country 
is  preferred  to  wide  prospects,  and  some  quiet  phase  to  nature 
in  agitation.  Soft,  undulating  valleys,  gently  spreading  hills  con- 
forming to  the  Hogarthian  line  of  beauty,  are  especially  favoured. 
And  should  the  rainbow,  the  biblical  symbol  of  atonement, 
stand  in  the  sky,  the  landscape  is  for  English  eyes  in  the 
zenith  of  its  beauty. 

There  is  Birket  Forster^  one  of  the  first  and  most  energetic 
followers  of  Walker — Birket  Forster,  whose  charming  woodcuts 
became  known  in  Germany  likewise  ;  Inchbold^  who  with  a  light 
hand  combines  the  tender  green  of  the  grasses  upon  the  dunes 
and  the  bright  blue  of  the  sea  into  a  whole  pervaded  with  light 
and  of  great  refinement ;  Leader,  whose  bright  evening  land- 
scapes, and  Corbety  whose  delicate  moods  of  morning,  are  so 
beautiful.  Mark  Fis/ier,  who  in  the  matter  of  tones  closely 
follows  the  French  landscape  school,  though  he  remains  entirely 
English  in  sentiment,  has  painted  with  great  artistic  power  the 
dreamy  peace  of  solitary  regions  as  well  as  the  noisy  and  busy 
life  of  the  purlieus  of  the  town.    John  Whitey  in  1882,  signalized 


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ENGLAND  193 

himself  with  a  landscape,  "Gold  and  Silver,"  which  was  bathed 
in  light  and  air.  The  gold  was  a  waving  cornfield  threaded 
by  a  sandy  little  yellow  path  ;  the  silver  was  the  sea  glittering 
and  sparkling  in  the  background.  Moved  by  Birket  Forster, 
Ernest  Parton  seeks  to  combine  refinement  of  tone  with  incisive- 
ncss  in  the  painting  of  detail.  His  motives  are  usually  quite 
simple — a  stream  and  a  birch  wood  in  the  dusk,  a  range  of 
poplars  stretching  dreamily  along  the  side  of  a  ditch.  Marshall 
painted  gloomy  London  streets  enveloped  in  mist ;  Docharty 
blossoming  hawthorn  bushes  and  autumn  evening  with  russet- 
leaved  oaks  ;  while  Alfred  East  became  the  painter  of  spring  in 
all  its  fragrance,  when  the  meadows  are  resplendent  in  their  earliest 
verdure,  and  the  leaves  of  the  trees  which  have  just  unfolded 
stand  out  against  the  firmament  in  light  green  patches  of  colour, 
when  the  limes  are  blossoming  and  the  crops  begin  to  sprout. 
J/.  /.  Aumonier  appears  in  the  harmony  of  colouring,  and  in  the 
softness  of  his  fine,  light-hued  tones,  as  the  true  heir  of  Walker 
and  Mason.  A  discreet  and  intimate  sense  of  poetry  pervades 
his  valleys  with  their  veiled  and  golden  light,  a  fertile  odour  of 
the  earth  streams  from  his  rich  meadows,  and  from  all  the 
luxuriant,  cultivated,  and  peacefully  idyllic  tracts  which  he  has 
painted  so  lovingly  and  so  well.  Gregory^  Knighty  Alfred  Parsons^ 
David  Fulton^  A.  R,  Brown ^  and  St.  Clair  Simmons  have  all 
something  personal  in  their  work,  a  bashful  tenderness  beneath 
what  is  seemingly  arid.  The  study  of  water-colour  would  alone 
claim  a  chapter  for  itself.  Since  water-colour  allows  of  more 
breadth  and  unity  than  oil-painting,  it  is  precisely  here  that 
there  may  be  found  exceedingly  charming  and  discreet  concords, 
softly  chiming  tones  of  delicate  blue,  greenish,  and  rosy  light, 
giving  the  most  refined  sensations  produced  by  English  colouring. 
Of  course  England  has  a  great  part  to  play  in  the  painting 
of  the  sea.  It  is  not  for  nothing  that  a  nation  occupies  an 
insular  and  maritime  position,  above  all  with  such  a  sea  and 
upon  such  coasts,  and  the  English  painter  knows  well  how  to 
give  an  heroic  and  poetic  cast  to  the  weather-beaten  features 
of  the  sailor.  For  thirty  years  Henry  Moore,  the  elder  brother 
of    Albert   Moore,   has  been   the    undisputed    monarch    of   this 


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194  MODERN  PAINTING 

province  of  art.  Moore  began  as  a  landscape-painter.  From 
1853  to  1857  he  painted  the  glistening  cliffs  and  secluded  nooks 
of  Cumberland,  and  then  the  green  valleys  of  Switzerland  flooded 
with  the  summer  air  and  the  clear  morning  light — quiet  scenes 
of  rustic  life,  the  toil  of  the  wood-cutter  and  the  haymaker, 
somewhat  as  Julien  Duprd  handles  such  matters  at  the  present 
time  in  Paris.  From  1858  he  began  his  conquest  of  the  sea, 
and  in  the  succeeding  interval  he  has  painted  it  in  all  the 
phases  of  its  changing  life, — at  times  in  grey  and  sombre  morning, 
at  other  times  when  the  sun  stands  high ;  at  times  in  quietude, 
at  other  times  when  the  wind  sweeps  heavily  across  the  waves, 
when  the  storm  rises  or  subsides,  when  the  sky  is  clouded  or 
when  it  brightens.  It  is  a  joy  to  follow  him  in  all  quarters  of 
the  world,  to  see  how  he  constantly  studies  the  waves  of  every 
zone  on  fair  or  stormy  days,  amid  the  clearness  and  brilliancy 
of  the  mirror  of  the  sea,  as  amid  the  strife  of  the  elements ; 
as  a  painter  he  is,  at  the  same  time,  always  a  student 
of  nature,  and  treats  the  sea  as  though  he  had  to  paint 
its  portrait.  In  the  presence  of  his  sea-pieces  one  has  the 
impression  of  a  window  opening  suddenly  upon  the  ocean. 
Henry  Moore  measures  the  boundless  expanse  quite  calmly, 
like  a  captain  calculating  the  chances  of  being  able  to  make  a 
crossing.  Nowhere  else  does  there  live  any  painter  who  regards 
the  sea  so  much  with  the  ^yts  of  a  sailor,  and  who  combines 
such  eminent  qualities  with  this  objective  and  cool,  attentive 
observation,  which  seems  to  behold  in  the  sea  merely  its  navigable 
capacity. 

The  painter  of  the  river-port  of  London  and  the  arm  of  the 
Thames  is  William  L.  Wyllie^  whose  pictures  unite  so  much 
bizarre  grandeur  with  so  much  precision.  One  knows  the  port 
life  of  the  Thames,  with  its  accumulation  of  work,  which  has  not 
its  like  upon  the  whole  planet.  Everything  is  colossal.  From 
Greenwich  up  to  London  both  sides  of  the  river  are  a  continuous 
quay  :  everywhere  there  are  goods  being  piled,  sacks  being  raised 
on  pulleys,  ships  being  laid  at  anchor ;  everywhere  are  fresh 
storehouses  for  copper,  beer,  sails,  tar,  and  chemicals.  The 
river  is  a  mile  broad  and  is  like  a  street  populated  with  ships. 


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\Brothtrs  photo  sc. 


Henry  Moore:  "Mounts  Bay." 
iBy  permission  of  the  CorporcUion  0/  Manchester,  the  owners  of  the  picture.) 

a  workshop  winding  again  and  again.  The  steamers  and  sailing 
vessels  move  up  and  down  stream,  or  lie  in  masses,  close  beside 
one  another,  at  anchor.  Upon  the  bank  the  docks  lie  athwart 
like  so  many  streets  of  water,  sending  out  ships  or  taking  them 
in.  The  ranks  of  masts  and  the  slender  rigging  form  a  spider's 
web  spreading  across  the  whole  horizon ;  and  a  vaporous  haze, 
penetrated  by  the  sun,  envelops  it  with  a  reddish  veil. 
Every  dock  is  like  a  town,  filled  with  huge  vats  and  populated 
with  a  swarm  of  human  beings,  that  moves  hither  and  thither 
amid  fluttering  shadows.  This  vast  panorama,  veiled  with  smoke 
and  mist,  only  now  and  then  broken  by  a  ray  of  sunlight,  is  the 
theme  of  Wyllie's  pictures.  Even  as  a  child  he  ran  about  in 
the  port  of  London,  clambered  on  to  the  ships,  noted  the  play 
of  the  waves,  and  wandered  about  the  docks,  and  so  he  painted 
his  pictures  afterwards  with  all  the  technical  knowledge  of  a 
sailor.  There  is  no  one  who  knows  so  well  how  ships  stand 
in  the  water ;  no  one  has  such  an  understanding  of  their  details : 
the  heavy  sailing-vessels  and  the  great  steamers,  which  lie  in 
the  brown  water  of  the  port  like  mighty  monsters,  the  sailors 
and  the  movements  of  the  dock  labourers,  the  dizzy  tide  of  men, 
the  confusion  of  cabs  and  drays  upon  the  bridges  spanning  the 


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k  /-i: 


arm  of  the  Thames;  only 
VoUon  in  Paris  is  to  be 
compared  with  him  as 
painter  of  a  river-port. 

Apart  from  him,  Clara 
Montalba  specially  has 
painted  the  Lxjndon  port 
in  delicate  water-colours. 
Yet  she  is  almost  more 
at  home  in  Venice,  the 
Venice  of  Francesco 
Guardi,  with  its  magic 
gleam,  its  canals,  regattas, 
and  palaces,  the  Oriental 
and  dazzling  splendour  of 
San  Marco,  the  austere 
grace  of  San  Giorgio 
Maggiore,  the  spirited 
and  fantastic  cUcadence  of 
Santa  Maria  della  Salute. 
Elsewhere  English  water- 
colour  often  enters  into  a  fruitless  rivalry  with  oil-painting,  but 
Clara  Montalba  cleaves  to  the  old  form  which  in  other  days 
under  Bonington,  David  Cox,  and  Turner  was  the  chief  glory 
of  the  English  school.  She  throws  lightly  upon  paper  notes 
and  effects  which  have  struck  her,  and  the  memory  of  which 
she  wishes  to  retain. 

For  the  English  painters  of  the  day,  so  far  as  they  do  not 
remain  in  the  country,  Venice  has  become  what  the  East  was  for 
the  earlier  generations.  They  no  longer  study  the  romantic  Venice 
which  Turner  painted  and  Byron  sang  in  CAilde  Harold,  they 
do  not  paint  the  noble  beauty  of  Venetian  architecture  or  its 
canals  glowing  in  the  sun,  but  the  Venice  of  the  day,  with  its 
narrow  alleys  and  pretty  girls,  Venice  with  its  marvellous  effects 
of  light  and  the  picturesque  figures  of  its  streets.  Nor  are 
they  at  pains  to  discover  "  ideal "  traits  in  the  character  of  the 
Italian  people.      They  paint  true,  everyday  scenes  from  popular 


^im- 


-1^ 


Magazme  of  Art.] 

Luke  Fildes:   "Venetian  Women." 

{By  ptrmisaioH  of  tht  Berlin  Photographic  Companyt 

tht  owners  of  the  copyright.) 


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life,  but  these  are 
glorified  by  the  magic 
of  light  After  Zezzos, 
Ludwig  Passini,  Cecil 
van  Haanen,  Tito,  and 
Eugene  Blaas,  the  Eng- 
lishmen Luke  Fildes, 
W.  Logsdail,  and  Henry 
Woods  are  the  most 
skilful  painters  of 
Venetian  street  scenes. 
In  the  pictures  of  Luke 
Fildes  and  W.  Logsdail 
there  are  usually  to  be 
seen  in  the  foreground 
beautiful  women,  painted 
full-size,  washing  linen 
in  the  canal  or  seated 
knitting  at  the  house 
door ;  the  heads  are 
bright  and  animated, 
the  colours  almost 
glaringly   vivid.     Henry 

IVoodSy  the  brother-in-law  of  Luke  Fildes,  rather  followed  the 
paths  prescribed  by  Favretto  in  such  pictures  as  "  Venetian 
Trade  in  the  Streets,"  "  The  Sale  of  an  Old  Master,"  "  Pre- 
paration for  the  First  Communion,"  "  Back  from  the  Rialto," 
and  the  like ;  of  all  the  English  he  has  carried  out  the  study 
of  bright  daylight  most  consistently.  The  little  glass  house 
which  he  built  in  1879  at  the  back  of  the  Palazzo  Vendramin 
became  the  model  of  all  the  glass  studios  now  disseminated 
over  the  city  of  the  lagunes. 

And  these  labours  in  Venice  contributed  in  no  unessential 
manner  to  lead  English  painting,  in  general,  away  from  its 
one-sided  aesthetics  and  rather  more  into  the  mud  of  the  streets, 
causing  it  to  break  with  its  finely  accorded  tones,  and  bringing 
it    to    a    more    earnest    study    of    light.      Beside    his    idealized 


iBfothirs  photo  sc. 

Stanhope  Forbes:   "The  Lighthouse." 

(By  penmiaaioH  oj  thg  Corporation  of  Manchester^  the 
owners  of  the  picture.^ 


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200  MODERN  PAINTING 

Venetian  women,  Luke  Fildes  also  painted  large  pictures  from 
the  life  of  the  English  people,  such  as  "  The  Return  of  the 
Lost  One,"  "The  Widower,"  and  the  like,  which  struck  tones 
more  earnest  than  English  painting  does  elsewhere;  and  in  his 
picture  of  1878,  "The  Poor  of  London,"  he  even  recalled 
certain  sketches  which  Gavarni  drew  during  his  rambles 
through  the  poverty-stricken  quarter  of  London.  The  poor 
starving  figures  in  this  work  were  rendered  quite  realistically 
and  without  embellishment;  the  general  tone  was  a  greenish 
grey,  making  a  forcible  change  from  the  customary  light  blue 
of  English  pictures.  Dudley  Hardy's  huge  picture  "  Homeless," 
where  a  crowd  of  human  beings  are  sleeping  at  night  in  the 
open  air  at  the  foot  of  a  monument  in  London,  and  Jacomb 
Hoods  plain  scenes  from  London  street  life,  are  other  works 
which  in  recent  years  were  striking  from  having  a  character 
rather  French  than  English.  Stott  of  Oldham  listens  in  rapture 
to  the  symphonic  harmonies  of  the  great  magician  Whistler, 
and  by  his  pretty  pictures  of  the  dunes  with  children  playing, 
powerful  portraits,  and  delicate,  vaporous  moonlight  landscapes 
he  has  won  many  admirers  on  the  Continent  also.  Stanhope 
Forbes  painted  "  A  Philharmonic  Society  in  the  Country,"  a 
representation  of  an  auction,  and  scenes  from  the  career  of  the 
Salvation  Army,  in  which  he  restrained  himself  from  all  sub- 
ordinate ideas  of  a  poetic  turn,  and  approached  the  Danes  by 
the  bonhomie  of  his  method  of  observation.  In  English  art 
these  are  the  few  painters  par  exceUencCy  the  solitary  artists  who 
aim  more  in  the  French  sense  at  the  naturalistic  transcript  of 
a  fragment  of  reality,  and  combine  with  it  a  more  direct  study 
of  light  than  is  elsewhere  usual  in  the  English  school. 


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CHAPTER    XXXVIII 

BELGIUM 

As  David  swayed  over  Belgian  fainting  from  1800  to  1830,  and  Delaroche 
from  1830  to  1850,  Courbet  swayed  over  it  from  1850  to  1870. — Charles 
de  Grouxy  Henri  de  Braekeleer,  Constantin  Meunier,  Charles  Verlat, 
Louis  Dubois,  Jan  Stobbaerts,  Leopold  Speekaert,  Alfred  Stevens^  De 
yonghe,  Baugniet,  the  brothers  Verhas,  Charles  Hermans. — The  land- 
scape-painters first  go  upon  the  lines  of  the  Fontainebleau  artists 
and  the  Impressionists, — Sketch  of  the  history  of  Belgian  landscape- 
painting. —  Van  Assche,  Verstappen,  Marneffe^  Lauters,  Jacob-Jacobs, 
Kinder  mans  y  Fourmois^  Schampheleer,  Roekfs,  '  Lamoriniere,  De 
Knyff,—Hippolyte  Boulenger  and.  the  Sociite  Libre  des  Beaux- Arts, 
— Thiodore  Baron^  Jacques  Rosseels,  Joseph  Heymans,  CoosemanSt 
AsselbergSt  Verstraete^  Frans  Courtens, — The  painters  of  animals  c 
Verboeckhovent  Alfred  Verwee,  Parmeniier^  De  Greef  Leemputten, 
LSon  Massaux,  Marie  Collaert, — The  painters  of  the  sea :  Clays, 
A.  Bouvier,  Leemans,  A.  Baertsoen,  Louis  Artan, — The  portrait- 
Painters  :  Emile  Wauters,  Liivin  de  Winne,  Agneesens,  Lambrichs, 
— General  characteristic  of  Belgian  painting. 

BELGIAN  painting  differs  from  English  as  a  fat  Flemish 
matron  from  an  ethereal  young  lady.  In  England  refuge  is 
taken  in  grace  and  poetry,  objects  are  divested  of  their  earthy 
heaviness,  everything  is  subtile  and  mysterious  and  of  a 
melancholy  tenderness;  even  the  painting  of  peasants  is  a 
bucolical  art,  which  only  breathes  the  spirit  of  rustic  life  without 
having  any  of  its  rude  materiality.  Painters  wander  through 
nature  like  sensitive  poets,  finding  flowers  everywhere,  and  it  is 
pleasant  to  breathe  the  perfume  of  the  charming  bouquets  into 
which  they  have  the  secret  of  binding  them  with  so  much  skill. 
But  the  Belgians  are  true  Flemish  masters,  exceedingly  material, 
not  in  the  least  refined,  and  sacrificing  nothing  to  grace.  They 
go  their  way  like  animals  at  the  plough,  without  growing  weary, 
VOL,  III.  ^^  14 


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202  MODERN  PAINTING 

but  without  any  traces  of  poetry;  they  are  exclusively  in- 
terested in  reality — in  poor  folks  and  in  rich  and  prosperous 
interiors,  in  scenes  from  peasant  life  and  from  the  streets,  in 
fat,  heavy  women,  land  and  sea,  in  everything  that  has  life, 
colour,  and  character.  A  somewhat  material  weight  and  a 
prosaic  sincerity,  an  unctuous  Flemish  health,  is  expressed  in 
everything.  It  is  as  if  Jacob  Jordaens  were  again  upon  his 
walks  in  Flanders. 

This  revolution  of  Belgian  painting  dates  from  1850.  As 
David  was  at  the  head  of  Belgian  painting  from  1800,  and 
Delaroche  from  1830,  Courbet  swayed  over  it  from  1850  to  1870. 
The  historical  picture,  along  with  everything  mythological  and 
religious,  allegorical  and  fantastic,  was  forsaken.  The  rosy 
insipidity,  the  conventional,  blooming  pallet-tone  of  Wappers 
and  Gallait  made  way  for  a  ruthless  truth  of  colouring. 
Courbet,  who  himself  descended  from  Jacob  Jordaens,  helped 
the  Belgians  to  become  conscious  of  their  old  Flemish  stock 
once  more.  When  his  "  Stonebreakers  **  was  exhibited  in 
Brussels  in  1852,  it  was  at  first  greeted  with  the  same  cry  of 
indignation  by  which  it  had  been  received  in  France.  But  this 
howl  of  indignation  did  not  hinder  Courbet's  realism  from 
triumphing  a  few  years  afterwards  with  De  Groux,  who  reflected 
it  in  a  species  of  brutal  sentimentalism. 

Charles  de  Groux  is  a  remarkable  artist.  Hendrik  Leys 
had  already  painted  poverty.  Yet  he  did  not  see  it  in  the 
reality,  but  only  in  old  pictures.  The  wealthy  and  refined 
painter  had  a  long  way  to  go  from  his  own  princely  mansion 
to  the  narrow  alleys  of  old  Antwerp  where  these  modern 
dramas  were  played  Charles  de  Groux  himself  passed  an 
indigent  life  in  an  out-of-the-way  quarter,  always  surrounded  by 
the  pallid  and  famished  faces  of  the  poor.  A  deep  compas- 
sion led  him  to  the  world  of  the  miserable  and  heavy-laden. 
He  transferred  to  them  the  melancholy  from  which  he  suffered 
himself,  lived  their  life  with  them,  and  his  heart  bled  when  he 
saw  them  suffer.  Artist  and  man  were  identical  with  each  other 
in  him.  He  became  the  painter  of  the  unfortunate  because  he 
was  himself  a  poor,  unfortunate,  and  hard-featured  man  ;  it  was 


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BELGIUM  203 

ihrough  the  same  necessity  of  nature  by  which  handsome  and 
fortunate  artists  have  been  the  poets  of  laughter  and  grace  in 
every  age.  He  mingles  with  his  painting  neither  sarcasm  nor 
complaints,  but  simply  paints  the  reality  as  he  feels  it,  with  his 
whole  heart,  though  without  dogmatizing  or  preaching  as  a 
social  democrat.  The  strife  between  labour  and  capital  does  not 
affect  him  ;  he  does  not  trouble  himself  about  the  relation 
between  workmen  and  employers  ;  he  never  utters  the  war-cry 
of  the  popular  tribune,  like  Eugene  de  Block.  In  a  real  and 
earnest  spirit  he  introduced  the  democracy  into  art,  and  gave  it 
that  baptismal  certificate  which  it  received  in  France  through 
Courbet  In  other  respects  he  does  not  resemble  the  French- 
man. Courbet  was  a  robust  painter  with  a  broad  bravura,  an 
artist  who  harmonized  everything  in  the  brown  tones  of  the 
[Bolognese.  De  Groux  seems  meagre  and  tortured  beside  him ; 
sfhrill  tones  break  through  the  sooty  harmony  of  his  pictures. 
Courbet  regarded  humanity  with  a  broad  and  healthy  Rabe- 
laisian laugh,  whereas  poor  De  Groux,  who  suffered  himself  and 
was  weak  and  sickly,  has  always  introduced  into  his  dramas  the 
profound  sentiment  of  death.  In  Courbet  there  are  healthy 
human  beings  standing  out  in  all  their  rusticity,  while  in  De 
Groux  there  are  spare  figures  with  hollow  cheeks  and  weak 
lungs,  consumptive  beings  who  in  their  very  birth  have  already 
fallen  the  victims  of  mortality.  This  preference  for  disease, 
unsightliness,  and  human  decay  gives  a  terrible  uniformity  to 
the  works  of  De  Groux.  His  pictures  are  disconsolate  and 
cheerless.  The  leaden  gloom  of  rainy  weather,  the  melancholy 
of  low  houses  with  their  roofs  buried  under  dirty  snow, 
and  the  heavy  atmosphere  of  sad  autumnal  days  are  what 
he  most  loves.  In  his  pictures  one  does  not  see  the 
spring,  nor  song-birds,  nor  sportive  butterflies;  scarcely  does 
a  strip  of  green  enliven  the  sooty  uniformity  of  his  colour- 
ing, which  is  as  gloomy  -  as  the  life  of  the  poor.  Mournful 
reality  sways  over  everything  in  his  work.  It  is  like  a 
hospital  filled  with  sick  people,  pre-ordained  in  their  cradles 
to  a  famished  and  shivering  existence.  As  mercilessly  as  a 
surgeon   operating  upon  a  diseased   limb  has   De  Groux  drawn 


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De  Groux:  "The  Deathbed." 

his  art  from  the  hospital,  and  it  is  often  brutal  where  he 
touches  the  deepest  sores  of  modern  civilization.  His  ideal 
never  goes  beyond  the  threshold  of  cellars  and  attics.  There 
are  in  his  pictures  nothing  but  poor,  broken  furniture,  stitched 
rags,  and  pale  faces,  where  famine  and  toil  have  early  left  their 
traces.  He  paints  the  sorrows  and  the  wretchedness  of  the 
artisan,  the  utter  degeneration  of  men  in  need  of  light  and  air, 
with  a  terrible  sincerity  known  to  none  before  him.  Even 
Tassaert,  the  Biranger  of  the  garret,  only  depicted  little  grisettes 
destroying  themselves  by  the  fumes  of  charcoal  with  a  pallid 
smile  upon  their  lips.  He  never  displayed  the  barren  nudity  of 
the  attic  where  old  men  die  of  starvation  beneath  their  filthy 
bedclothes.  A  thoroughly  French  grace  softened  the  mournful- 
ness  of  his  works.  De  Groux  went  to  the  bitter  end ;  he 
painted  I'assommqir  before  it  was  made  a  subject  for  fiction : 
the  drunkard  reeling   heavily  to  his  house,  ruined  men  lingering 


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BELGIUM 


ioi 


Dk  Groux:  "GraOc  before  Meat." 

over  the  brandy-glass  in  grimy  taverns,  and,  as  a  [lugubrious 
reverse  to  the  picture,  shivering  children  crouching  Gold  and 
hungry  in  a  fireless  room,  pale  women  who  hslve  cried  their 
eyes  out  sewing  in  the  dingy  light  penetrating  through  dirty 
windows,  and  broken  old  cradlefi  where  little  children  are  lying 
dead.  Even  where  he  touches  a  softer  note  he  recognizes  only 
the  regularity  of  toil  or  the  bitter  distress  of  life :  poor  women 
darning  upon  a  gloomy  afternoon  the  torn  clothes  of  their 
husbands  or  their  children,  beggars  who  stand  shivering  at  the 
street  corner,  the  half- frozen  poor  passing  with  a  faint  heart  by 
the  brasier  of  a  man  Celling  coffee,  vagabonds  drawing  a 
brandy-flask  from  their  pockets  at  the  street  corner,  little 
children  slinking  pale  and  bare-footed  over  the  rough  stones, 
mothers  praying  for  a  dying  baby.  De  Groux  knew  what  a 
close  bond  unites  the  outcasts  of  society  with  religion,  arrd 
therefore  he  sometimes  represented — and  it  is  the  only  variation 
in   his   work — the   priest   at  the   altar    amid    the   smoke  bf  the 

-candles.  Or  upon  the  high-road  bearing  the  last  consolatiofi  to 
the  dying.  He  painted  the  poor  as  if  he  had  lived  amongst  them 
himself,    and    shared    their   want,    their    renunciation,    and    their 

'  superstition ;  and   the   jiriest    and   religious   worship   he   pkinted 

like  a  man  6f  the  humble   class   who   himself  believed  in  them. 

Charies    de    Groux    Ief\    hd    school    behind    him';    but    the 


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2oe  MODERN  PAINTING 

principle  of  his  art  survived.  A  heightened  feeling  for  reality 
came  into  the  Belgian  school  with  him,  and  determined  its 
further  development.  Painters  looked  no  longer  backwards  but 
around  them,  as  did  their  great  predecessors  in  the  seventeenth 
century.  And  by  painting  the  men  who  lived  about  them,  as 
these  older  masters  had  done,  they  revelled  once  more  in  the 
warm  juicy  colour  which  was  characteristic  of  Flemish  painting 
in  the  days  of  Jordaens. 

Henri  de  Braekeleer^  nephew  of  Leys  and  son  of  Ferdinand 
de  Braekeleer,  whose  genre  pictures  had  such  a  great  reputation 
sixty  years  agOj  became  the   Belgian    Pieter   de   Hoogh  of  the 
nineteenth  century.    To  some  extent  he  closed  the  tradition  of 
Leys,    and    clothed    his    efforts,   with    a    rational    and    definite 
formula.      Leys,    who   did    not    stand    independent   of   the    old 
masters,    painted    the    people   of   Antwerp  who    lived    in   their 
time  ;  Henri  de  Braekeleer  painted  those  whom  he  saw  himself. 
Like    all    towns    which    have   a    past,   Antwerp   falls    into   two 
sharply  divided  districts.      One   of  these  is  formed   by  the   new 
town,  with    its  straight  and  broad   streets   and   stone    mansions, 
through  the  high  windows  of  which  a  clear  grey  light  falls  upon 
fine   and   comfortable  apartments ;   the  other   is  formed   by   the 
old  quarter  of  the  town,    with   its   dingy  little  houses,   its    pic- 
turesque courts,  its  tortuous  alleys  illuminated  only  by  a  scanty 
strip  of  grey  sky,  and  its  old  Flemish  population,  who  live  now 
exactly  as  their  forefathers  two  hundred  years  ago.     A   painter, 
brought  up  in  the  school  of  Leys,  and,  like  him,  paying  honour 
to   the    old    Dutch    colourists,    would    necessarily    feel    himself 
drawn  towards  these  old  nooks,  with  beams  of  light  stealing  into 
sequestered   chambers  through  little  windows   and  playing  upon 
brightly  polished  pewter  and  copper  vessels.      Here  it  was  still 
possible  to  revel  in  the  Dutch  clare-obscure,  and  that  was  what 
De  Braekeleer    did.      He    did   not    paint    the   noisy  life  of   the 
streets   of   Antwerp,    the    heavy   tread   of  the    horses   dragging 
wains  laden  high  over  the  rough  pavement,  nor  the  smoke  and 
steam    of   flues   and    manufactories.     But    he   painted    the   quiet 
and  loneliness  of  a  sleeping  town,  the  red  roofs  of  little  houses 
bathed  dreamily  in  the  dull  light  of  the  sky,  little  courts  where 


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BELGIUM  207 

old  people  sat  and  sunned  themselves  upon  a  bench.  He 
painted  men  who  were  vegetating — men  whose  life  flowed  by 
with  a  somnolent  monotony,  or  men  in  the  regular  business 
of  their  calling :  cordwainers,  tailors,  and  shoemakers,  old  men 
reading  or  geographers  bending  over  their  maps,  meagre  gardens 
with  sooty  flowers  and  dim  interiors  with  little  leaded  windows. 
He  is  himself  described  as  a  quiet,  dreamy  man,  and  he  felt 
himself  as  much  at  home  amid  these  quiet  people  and  quiet 
houses  as  Groux  did  amongst  the  poor.  In  the  matter  of 
technique  he  soon  deserted  the  old  German  lines  of  Leys, 
approaching  all  the  nearer  to  Van  der  Meer  of  Delft  and  Pieter 
de  Hoogh.  De  Hoogh  gave  him  the  warm  red  general  tone ; 
in  that  painter  he  saw  the  sunbeams  glancing  sportively  over 
table-covers,  boards,  chests,  and  copper  vessels,  the  light  which 
from  a  brighter  opening  at  the  side  penetrates  a  dark  ante- 
chamber like  a  golden  column  of  dust.  From  De  Hoogh  he 
learnt  to  seize  boldly  many  charming  problems  of  light,  solving 
them  with  the  refinement  of  an  old  Dutch  master.  Claus  Meyer 
is,  more  or  less,  his  parallel  in  Germany. 

After  Charles  de  Groux  had  painted  the  poor  and  Henri  de 
Braekeleer  the  people  of  Antwerp,  Constantin  Meunier  went  into 
the  forges  and  represented  great  virile  bodies,  naked  to  the 
waist,  in  heroic  attitudes.  Meunier  lives  in  the  little  town  of 
Louvain,  the  capital  of  the  Belgian  colliery  district.  From  his 
studio  he  looks  over  a  wide,  black  country,  like  a  huge,  solitary 
block  of  coal — a  terrible  battle-field  for  industry.  All  the  air  is 
darkened  with  smoke  ;  the  plain  is  covered  with  chimneys,  high 
as  obelisks,  and  long  rows  of  lofty  buildings  of  red,  monotonous 
brick  stand  there  like  busy  beehives.  Glowing  blast  furnaces 
flare  through  the  fog — those  iron-foundries  where  the  machines 
of  the  kingdom  are  formed,  rollers  and  fly-wheels,  the  pillars  of 
bridges  and  the  axles  of  steam-engines.  Workmen — a  species 
of  peaceable  giants — bestir  themselves  at  the  iron  hammer  with 
red  glowing  shafts.  Meunier  himself  joined  in  this  battle  at  the 
side  of  the  artisan.  At  first  a  sculptor,  he  applied  the  gloomy 
naturalism  of  Zola's  Germinal  to  plastic  art.  As  a  painter  he 
is  convincing  and  austere,  a  little  brutal  indeed,  but  sincere  and 


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MODERN  PAINTING 


Meunier:  "The  Peasants*  Rebellion." 

simple.  His  landscapes  reek  of  coal  and  iron,  and  his  pit-men 
are  terrible,  sooty  figures,  bearing  the  stamp  of  great  truth- 
fulness, whether  they  stare  into  the  fire  of  the  blast  furnace 
with  a  dull  gaze,  or  rest  brooding  gloomily,  tired  out  with  their 
work.  At  times,  too,  he  exhibits  scenes  of  martyrdom  which 
are  Belgian  counterparts  to  those  painted  in  France  by  Ribot 
under  the  influence  of  the  Spanish  naturalists.  In  place  of  the 
boudoir  saints  of  the  earlier  generation  one  sees  nude  figures 
which  have  been  marvellously  painted,  half-mouldered  corpses 
with  sanguinary  wounds.  A  smack  of  the  butcher's  shop  was 
introduced  into  Flemish  art  by  Meunier's  pictures. 

On  account  of  this  attempt  to  place  religious  painting  upon 
a  realistic  basis,  Charles  Verlat  ought  not  to  be  passed  over. 
During  a  residence  in  Palestine  he  had  prepared  numerous 
figure  and  landscape  studies,  which  he  put  together  in  religious 
pictures  after  his  return.  The  result  was  a  trivial  though 
massive  realism,  as  it  is  in  most  of  the  biblical  Eastern  painters, 
but  in  Verlat  it  has  the  more   crude   effect  as  he  had   no  eye 


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BELGIUM  209 

for  landscape  whatever.  Everything  is  petrified,  the  persons,  the 
air,  and  the  light  He  did  nothing  for  the  progress  of  religious 
painting,  but  his  primitive  realism  was  so  far  stimulating  that 
it  enabled  him  to  put  an  end  to  conventional  sacred  painting 
in  Belgium ;  and  by  a  fresher  study  of  nature  he  attached 
himself  to  the  general  movement.  By  his  Eastern  pictures,  as 
well  as  his  landscapes  and  animals,  many  a  younger  artist  had 
his  eyes  opened  for  the  life  of  nature. 

Louis  Dubois  is,  perhaps,  the  most  exuberant  in  power  of 
all  this  group  influenced  by  Courbet  His  first  broad  and 
juicily  painted  likenesses  recall  old  Pourbus.  Later  he  turned, 
with  the  large  bravura  and  oily  red-brown  method  of  painting 
characteristic  of  Courbet,  to  the  figure-picture,  still-life,  and 
landscape.  When  he  painted  nude  women  they  were  exuberant 
in  health  and  strength.  He  delighted  in  fat  shoulders  and 
sinewy  necks,  the  gleam  of  the  skin  under  lamplight,  the 
coats  of  roes  and  hares,  the  iridescent  glitter  of  carp  and  cod ; 
in  fact  he  was  a  robust  workman  like  Gustave  Courbet,  and 
clasped  matter  in  all  its  unctuous  and  luxuriant  health  with 
a  voluptuous  satisfaction. 

Equally  full-blooded,  Jan  Stobbaerts  painted  artisan  pictures, 
landscapes,  and  still-life  in  dark-brown  studio  tones,  and  with 
brutal  force.  He  peculiarly  sought  out  subjects  of  a  repellent 
triviality :  cowhouses  in  warm  yellow-greenish  light  alternate 
with  dark  and  dirty  interiors,  kitchens  where  decaying  vege- 
tables are  strewn  about  with  barbers'  rooms  where  old  men  are 
being  shaved  Jan  Stobbaerts,  in  fact,  is  an  unwieldy  Flemish 
bear,  robust,  of  a  healthy  human  understanding  and  colossal 
hideousness. 

At  the  time  when  he  began  to  paint  in  Antwerp,  an  artist 
made  his  appearance  in  Brussels  who  was  not  quite  so  exuberant 
in  power,  but  also  had  a  virile  and  energetic  talent — Leopola 
Speekaert.  His  first  picture,  in  i860,  was  a  nymph  taken  by 
surprise,  a  healthy  piece  of  naked  flesh,  painted  with  that  broad 
and  robust  technique  by  which  Courbet's  nude  women  impressed 
the  Belgians.  After  that  he  also  turned  to  the  painting  of  the 
poor,  depicting  beggars,  drunkards,  women  of  the  people — pictures 


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210  MODERN  PAINTING 

from  which  later  generations  will  receive  a  terrifying  repre- 
sentation of  Brussels  in  the  sixties. 

Alfred  Stevens^  who  also  began  with  beggarwomen  and 
vagabonds,  introduced  a  certain  nervous  restlessness — even  if  it 
was  not  profound— into  Flemish  healthiness.  Women,  seas  and 
flowers,  silk  and  satin,  everything  rich  in  nuances  and  rendering 
delicate  reflections  possible,  busied  his  dexterous  brush.  His 
pictures  are  at  once  refined  and  solid,  graceful  and  strong, 
healthy  and  yet  full  of  nervous  vibration,  Flemish  and  Parisian- 
It  almost  seems,  indeed,  as  though  they  were  too  Flemish  to 
count  as  true  representations  of  the  Parisienne,  Stevens  is  now 
nearly  sixty-eight  years  of  age,  and  looks  like  the  retired  colonel 
of  a  cavalry  regiment  Even  the  rude  blows  of  fate  have  failed 
to  bow  his  broad-shouldered  and  gigantic  frame  with  its  massive 
back  and  great  muscular  hands.  And  these  muscular  hands 
have  given  something  of  their  own  strength  to  the  tender  lines 
of  Parisiennes,  and  made  such  beings  healthier  and  more  full- 
blooded  than  they  really  are.  The  heaviness  of  Jordaens  lies 
in  his  blood.  Like  all  these  Flemish  artists,  he  is  a  painter  of 
still-life.  His  pretty  women,  who  are  bathing  or  regarding 
bouquets,  Japanese  masques  and  statuettes,  in  an  attitude  which 
permits  the  spectator  to  study  their  rich  toilettes  and  their 
tasteful  household  surroundings,  seem  themselves  like  puppets 
set  amid  these  knickknacks.  The  capacity  for  grasping  the 
atmosphere  of  life  in  its  quivering  movement,  the  poetry  of 
what  is  psychical,  evaporated  from  this  art. 

The  successes  of  Stevens  led  De  Jonghe,  Baugniet,  and  the 
brothers  Verhas  into  the  same  course.  Beneath  the  hands  of 
De  Jonghe  the  Parisienne  becomes  a  tender,  languishing  being, 
stretching  at  full  length  upon  a  soft  velvet  sofa.  He,  too,  knows 
nothing  of  passion  and  spiritual  life.  All  the  interest  lies  in  the 
coquetry  of  the  toilette,  which,  however,  is  always  confined  within 
the  limits  of  conventional  decency.  All  De  Jonghe*s  women 
look  as  innocent  as  if  they  had  just  left  a  boarding-school. 
They  sit  over  their  work-basket  or  have  a  novel  resting  upon 
their  knees.  A  slight  fit  of  sulks  or  an  impatient  expectancy 
is  the  only  thing  that,  now  and  then,  disturbs  the  sunny  clearness 


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BELGIUM 


211 


^K    /^Ki    ^HflBiHlJUjliA:n!ni  _ 

1 

BnrS  fe^Hi^?^^^^Hiv^ 

fSH^Sb.  < 

?!^v:k .;;.,:.,:. , ,     mu^-^'^>w^\ 

1     ,.  ..-v. 

ii«^si!p^*V^X 

Verhas:  "The  Schoolgirls'  Review." 

of  their  foreheads.  Baugniet  and  the  brothers  Jan  and  Frans 
Verhas  opened  the  gate  upon  the  world  of  childhood  in  painting 
their  women,  and  thus  the  part  played  by  women  became 
different  The  modern  Eve  of  Stevens  and  the  beautiful,  in- 
different being  of  De  Jonghe  were  transformed  into  quiet  and 
happy  mothers,  blissfully  watching  the  little  one  playing  upon 
their  lap.  Frans  and  Jan  Verhas  have  painted  a  whole  series  of 
such  family  scenes,  in  which  the  fresh  ring  of  children's  voices 
may  be  heard.  They  are  the  first  Belgians  who  have  seized 
the  grace  of  well-bred  children  with  a  fine  comprehension.  A 
mixture  of  English  graciousness  and  Parisian  refinement  under- 
lies their  pictures. 

Charles  Hermans  brought  art  into  the  streets.  His  great 
picture  of  1875,  "  In  the  Dawn,"  was  certainly  by  no  means  a 
delicate  work,  and  it  has  an  old-fashioned  look  in  the  Mus6e 
Moderne  of  Brussels.  A  profligate  is  reeling  from  a  fashionable 
restaurant  with  his  hat  set  far  back  on  his  head  and  a  smart- 
looking  girl  upon  each  arm,  whilst  workpeople,  who  are  just 
setting  forth  to  their  day's  toil,  are  passing  down  the  street. 
There  was  a  trace  of  Hogarth  in  this  forced  opposition  between 
vice  and  virtue,  pleasure  and  duty,  luxury  and  poverty.  There 
was  a  far-fetched,  vulgar  antithesis,  suggesjtive  of  genre,  in  this 


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212  •  MODERN  PAINTING 

division  of  the  picture  into  two  groups :  on  the  one  side  creatures 
of  pleasure,  a  frou-frou  of  silken  clothes  and  a  loud  tipsy  cry ; 
upon  the  other  artisans,  earnest  and  melancholy,  with  the 
tesigned  mien  of  martyrs.  And  for  the  painter  himself  the 
above  work  was  the  only  4«cky  hit.  Even  his  ''Conscripts"  of 
1878  and  the  "Masked  Ball''  of  1880  did  not  achieve  anything 
like  the  same  success,  and  later  he  only  painted  smaller  pictures 
of  women  in  the  style  of  Alfred  Stevens,  which  are  not  far 
removed  from  what  is  now  produced  in  Paris  of  the  same 
description.  Nevertheless  Hermans'  "In  the  Dawn"  gives  a 
date  in  the  history  of  Belgian  painting.  It  was  in  Belgium  the 
first  modem  picture  with  life-size  figures,  the  first  representing 
a  street  scene  upon  the  scale  of  an  historical  picture,  and  it 
communicated  to  the  Belgians  the  principles  of  Manet's  view 
of  colour. 

All  those  elder  painters  who  gathered  round  Dubois  and 
Braekeleer  were  rich,  oily,  and  Flemish,  or  else  quiet,  phlegmatic, 
and  Dutch.  They  all  loved  sauce,  the  dark-brown  backgrounds, 
the  brown  flesh-tint  and  red  shadows.  In  the  history  of 
Belgian  painting  they  occupy  a  position  similar  to  that  of 
Courbet  and  Ribot  in  French.  When  Hermans  exhibited  his 
picture  in  the  middle  of  the  seventies,  Belgian  art  issued  from 
this  Courbet  phase,  and,  like  the  French,  sacrificed  warm,  bitu- 
minous tones  to  a  painting  which  set  the  exact  study  of  tone 
values  in  the  first  place.  And  here  also  the  revolution  was 
begun  by  the  landscape-painters.  By  their  unbroken  intercourse 
with  nature  they  first  remarked  how  little  this  unctuous  fashion 
of  painting  after  the  manner  of  Courbet  was  really  adapted  for 
grasping  the  bloom  and  tenderness  of  the  physical  world. 

The  gradual  development  of  this  landscape-painting,  in  which 
Belgian  art  so  far  shows  its  chief  power,  dates  from  1830.  At 
that  time  Ruysdael  had  been  first  discovered.  Artists  were  in 
a  melancholy  frame  of  mind,  and  produced  a  mass  of  waterfalls 
and  rocks,  and  Alpine  views  and  cascades,  the  elegiac  moiim- 
fulness  of  which  belonged  to  the  past  as  much  as  did  their  bad 
colouring.  Van  Assche,  Verstappen^  arid  Mameffe  had  a  pre- 
ference for  the  "sublime" — that  is  to  say,  for  the  exact  opposite 


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'       BELGIUM        \v  213 

of  the  simple  districts  which  they  saw  arpund  them.  Frequent 
journeys  to  Italy  had  created  in  them  a  sickly  enthusiasm  for 
lai^e,  imposing  lines.  It  wa§  only  after  the  forties  that  painters 
made  a  gradual  return  to  Belgium,  and  no  longer  toiled  to  seek 
at  a  distance  after  materials  for  the  preparation  of  artificially 
composed  stage-scenes.  Landscape  then  became  as  accurate  a 
rendering  as  was  possible  of  the  woods  and  waters  of  their 
native  land,  though  it  needed  yet  another  generation  to  reach 
the  simplicity  and  refinement  of  modern  feeling  for  nature.  The 
panoramic  prospects  froni  the  Ardennes  of  De  Jonghcy  the  ruins 
of  LauterSy  and  the  lakes  and  fjords  of  Jacob-Jacobs  are  a 
parallel  to  that  arid  painting  of  views  from  mountain  districts 
which  was  carried  on  in  Germany  by  Kameke,  old  Count 
Kalkreuth,  and  others. 

Kindermans,  who  made  his  first  appearance  in  the  Salon 
of  1854,  indicated  an  advance  beyond  this  prosaic  or  falsely 
tempered  sobriety.  He  painted  wide  green  meadows  with  an 
elevated  horizon,  isolated  groups  of  trees,  windmills,  and  the 
little  huts  of  peasants.  As  yet  he  did  not  love  nature  in  all 
her  revelations,  but  only  when  the  season  was  beautiful  and 
gave  an  opportunity  for  artistic  compositions.  Nevertheless  he 
forgot  the  town  and  the  studio,  lived  amid  the  Walloon  hills, 
heard  the  leaves  rustle  and  the  wind  sigh,  and  was  filled  with 
the  consciousness  of  nature.  A  moist  air  began  to  blow  through 
landscapes,  and  announced,  although  diffidently,  the  progress 
which  was  made  by  the  next  generation. 

FourmoiSy  who  laboured  at  the  same  time,  painted,  like 
Hobbema,  large  and  fine  groups  of  trees,  behind  which  a 
windmill  or  a  peasant's  cottage  may  be  seen  emerging,  and  little 
footpaths  leading  to  the  skirts  of  a  forest.  He  stood  upon  the 
shoulders  of  the  old  Dutchman,  had  no  delicate  eye  for  the 
subtilties  of  atmosphere,  never  yielded  to  dreaminess,  and  yet  he 
was  a  good  worker  and  a  forcible  painter. 

For  his  representations  of  Belgian  flat  landscape  Edmond  de 
SchampheUer  became  well  known.  Having  lived  a  long  time  in 
Munich  during  the  fifties,  he  enjoyed  a  special  fame  in  Germany 
also.     From  1856  the  chief  elements  of  his  pictures,  which  have 


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214  MODERN  PAINTING 

been   felt  in  a  fresh   and   healthy  if  also    in    an   uninteresting 
manner,   are  meadows  covered    with    luxuriant    grass    or  fields 
ovei^own  with  waving  grain,  straight  canals,  where  the  water 
is  smooth  and  quiet  like  a  mirror,  or  still  streams  bounded  by 
low  banks  and  ruffled  by  the  wind  that  brings  the  rain;    alleys 
of  willow,  isolated  strips  of  wood,  windmills,  church  spires,  or  the 
chimneys  of  manufactories  here  and  there  rise  above  these  plains, 
the  broad    pastures   are    animated    by    majestic    cattle    grazing 
over  them,   and  a  dull  sky,  covered  by  grey  rain-clouds,  rests 
over  alL      RoelofSy    a   Dutchman    living    in    Brussels,    made  an 
attentive   study  of  the  play  of    light    upon   the  lush    Flemidi 
meadows.     Lamoriniere  made  an  appearance  with  his  tall  tree- 
stems,  carefully  and  smoothly  painted.     He  had  a  pious  venera- 
tion for  nature,  and   believed  that  he  could  compass  her  most 
readily  by  a  petty  stippling,  through   which  he  painted   every 
strip  of  bark   with  exactness — a  process  which  certainly  would 
not  fail   in   its  effect,  if  the  forest  really  made  the   impression 
that  it  was  the  first  and  most  necessary  duty  of  the  beholder 
to  verify  the  number  of  trees  which   it   possessed  at   the  given 
moment,   counting   one   there,  and   there   another,  and  there  a 
third.      Artists  were  still  diffident  and  timid  in   the  presence  of 
mighty  nature ;   painting  had  a  leaning  towards  what  was  petty, 
pretty,  and   pleasing,  a   strained   poetry  made  up  of  artificially 
harmonized   tones.      Alfred  de  Knyff,  trained   in   the  school  of 
Rousseau,   Dupr6,   Paul   Huet,  and  Cabat,  seems   to  have  first 
brought  the  genuine  programme  of  the  masters  of  Fontainebleau 
into  Belgium,  and   the   Belgian   critics  shook    their  heads  over 
him  in  disapprobation  because  he  painted  "  green,"  as  the  French 
critics  had  done  over  Rousseau.     In  the  succeeding  years,  however, 
the  conscientious  landscape  of  the  studio  gave  way,  more  and 
more,  to  the  fresh  picture  from  nature.     The  miracles  of  light  and 
atmosphere  became   in  Belgium   likewise  the  object  of  principal 
study  to  the  landscape-painters. 

In  the  history  of  art  Hippolyte  Boulenger  is  to  be  honoured  as 
the  Belgian  Corot  He  also  had  served  in  the  ranks,  and  been 
a  painter  of  household  decoration  before  he  devoted  himself  to 
landscape.      He    lived    in   those  days    in   an    attic    immediately 


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BELGIUM  215 

below  the  roof;  every  morning  when  he  rose,  and  every  evening 
when  he  returned  home,  he  looked  straight  into  the  sky.  He 
noted  with  curiosity  the  earliest  rays  of  the  sun  which  streamed 
into  his  room,  and  observed  the  last  quivering  of  the  evening 
light.  In  this  way  there  were  born  in  him  thoughts  and  emotions 
to  which  he  felt  the  need  of  giving  pictorial  expression.  Being 
too  poor,  he  was  unable  to  go  to  the  Academy,  and  was  forced 
to  content  himself  with  selling,  when  he  could,  one  of  the  copies 
of  the  old  masters  which  he  made  in  the  Brussels  Museum. 
But  one  Sunday  morning  the  sunbeams  glanced  in  his  attic  in 
a  manner  which  was  too  enticing.  He  seized  his  canvas  and  his 
brush  and  went  into  the  town,  took  the  old  coach-road  fringed 
with  great  limes,  and  passed  by  the  meadows,  cultivated  fields, 
and  woodlands  until  he  came  to  the  field  of  Waterloo.  In  an 
old  village  inn  behind  the  Bois  de  la  Cambre  he  took  lodgings, 
and  from  that  moment  he  found  his  true  calling.  He  began 
to  study  light,  different  as  it  is  at  every  hour  of  the  day,  and 
shedding  different  nuances  of  colour  upon  the  green  of  the  leaves, 
the  grey  of  the  earth,  and  the  blue  of  the  sky — apparently 
capricious  in  its  workings,  yet  obedient  to  a  logical  regularity 
of  action.  He  sought  to  fathom  the  mystery  of  the  eternal 
changes  of  light,  to  trace,  as  it  were,  the  hourly  course  of  the 
sunbeams.  Millet,  the  mighty  herald  of  the  great  Pan,  was  at 
that  time  his  ideal.  He,  too,  wished  to  paint  man  and  the  soil, 
and  to  devote  himself,  like  Millet,  to  the  worship  of  old  Cybele. 
So  he  soon  left  the  Bois  de  la  Cambre,  which  was  already 
becoming  something  too  much  of  a  park,  and  beginning  to 
resemble  the  Bois  de  Boulogne ;  first  he  went  to  Ruysbroeck, 
the  Dachau  of  Brussels,  and  then  to  Anderghem,  on  the  road 
to  Tervueren.  Tervueren  was  his  last  halting-place,  and  through 
him  it  has  become  the  cradle  of  Belgian  landscape-painting.  All 
the  day  long  he  roamed  about  in  the  wood,  and  sat  of  an  evening 
with  the  peasants  in  the  smoky  tavern. 

The  Brussels  Salon  of  1863  contained  his  first  picture,  that 
of  1866  was  the  birthplace  of  his  celebrity,  and  from  1866  to 
1873  one  masterpiece  followed  the  other.  Tervueren  became 
his   Barbizon.      Here  he  busied  himself,  and  was   never  weary 


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2i6  MODERN  PAINTING 

of  painting  the  silence  of  the  wood,  the  clear  light  resting  upon 
the  rich  meadows  of  Brabant,  and  the  fine  rain  falling  upon  the 
thirsty  cornfields.  No  one  before  him  had  shown  so  much 
power  in  painting  the  monotony  of  the  heath,  with  the  dull 
grey  wintry  clouds  lowering  above  it ;  no  one  had  hearkened 
with. more  attention  to  the  wind  moaning  its  complaint  amid 
the  melancholy  thickets  of  the  forest.  These  pictures  directly 
recall  Millet  with  their  broad  surfaces  and  the  great  and  boldly 
simplified  outline  of  the  Flemish  peasant  standing  out  so  gravely 
against  the  evening  sky.  But  after  no  long  time  Boulenger's 
manner  underwent  a  transformation,  and  when  "The  View  of 
Basti^re"  appeared  in  the  Brussels  Salon  of  1870,  this  Millet 
reeking  of  the  earth  had  acquired  the  sentiment  of  Elysium 
like  a  Corot.  A  rainbow  softly  spans  the  sky ;  a  thin,  drizzling 
rain  comes  dripping  down,  changed  into  fluid  gold  by  the  rays 
of  the  sun.  Rosy  as  mystical  flowers  stand  the  clouds  in  the 
sky,  and  below  they  are  reflected  in  the  azure  of  the  ocean. 
What  was  at  first  heavy,  hard,  and  material  became  more  and 
more  delicate  and  refined.  A  golden  bloom  lies  glittering  in 
the  latest  pictures  of  Boulenger.  Now  he  sought  only  the  most 
judicious  harmonies,  only  a  veiled  clarity  of  tones.  He  fluttered 
more  boldly  around  the  light,  as  if  with  a  presentiment  that  he 
would  soon  see  it  no  more.  And  he  was  but  seven-and-thirty 
when  he  died  in  Brussels  in  the  July  of  1874.  His  death  was 
the  greatest  blow  to  Belgian  painting.  But,  short  as  his  life  was, 
he  left  behind  him  traces  not  to  be  forgotten.  Not  "  the  school 
of  Tervueren  "  alone,  that  forcible  Ecole  en  pletn  vent,  but  all  the 
newest  art  in  Belgium  may  be  traced  to  him  who  was  so  suddenly 
smitten  by  death.  The  Flemish  heaviness,  the  intelligent 
practice  of  the  studio,  made  way  for  a  delicate  system  of  ob- 
servation, calculated  to  meet  particular  cases,  a  system  which 
endeavoured  to  note  with  fine  exactness  the  impressions  made 
by  the  season  and  the  hour. 

At  the.  suggestion  of  Boulenger,  a  circle  of  artists  was 
formed  in  1868,  the  Socidt^  Libre  des  Beaux-Arts,  which  gradually 
came  to  include  all  the  young  Belgians  of  talent.  The  most 
notable     French    and     Dutch    artists— Corot,    Millet,     Daumier, 


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BELGIUM  217 

Courbet,  Daubigny,  Alfred  Stevens,  Bonvin,  Willem  Maris,  and 
others — accepted  honorary  membership.  In  1870  the  first  exhi- 
bition of  the  society  was  arranged;  in  1871  was  founded  the 
journal  Art  Libre,  where  the  young  painters  themselves  defended 
their  ideas  with  the  pen :  they  wanted  to  paint  nature  as  they 
saw  it,  with  all  possible  renunciation  of  arrangement  and  forced 
system.  They  wanted  to  study  the  relations  of  tone  values,  and 
to  look  rather  to  the  rightness  than  to  the  brilliancy  of  colour. 
Manet  and  the  Fontainebleau  masters  had  shown  the  way  which 
Belgian  painting  had  to  follow.  And  before  long  the  doors  of 
museums  and  private  galleries  were  thrown  open  to  admit  their 
works,  as  a  short  time  before  they  had  been  opened  to  the 
Parisian  Indipendants. 

Of  them  all  Thiodore  Baron  had  most  the  stuff  in  him  to 
replace  Boulenger,  who  had  died  so  young.  He  introduced  a 
grave  and  sombre  note  into  Belgian  landscape.  His  woodlands 
dream  beneath  a  heavy  and  rainy  sky,  withered  autumn  leaves 
whirl  around,  frost  and  rime  cover  the  ground.  The  localities 
themselves  are  usually  very  simple :  a  strip  of  heath,  a  patch  of 
field,  a  straight  road,  a  boulder  of  cliff  beneath  a  sad  sky ;  no 
more  than  these  are  needed  to  create  an  impression  of  great 
loneliness,  an  earnest  and  austere  phase  of  thought  For  Baron 
there  was  no  mild  lisping  breeze,  no  fresh  budding  spring  and 
brooding  summer.  Cold  winter,  the  melancholy  of  gloomy 
November  days,  and  the  earth  in  widow's  weeds  were  what 
most  attracted  him.  He  discovered  such  moods  of  nature  in  the 
Ardennes.  The  heath  of  Coudroy,  the  steep  banks  of  the  Meuse, 
little  mountain  villages  upon  parched  moorland,  he  likewise  took 
delight  in  painting.  But  most  of  all  he  loved  the  Walloon  soil — 
not  its  wide  plains  and  far  horizons,  but  its  deep  valleys  and 
the  gnarled  lines  of  isolated  trees,  rising  ghostlike  from  a  lonely 
heath.  As  Boulenger  might  be  compared  with  Corot,  Baron 
might  be  compared  with  Rousseau.  His  method  is  broad,  solid, 
robust,  and  sound.  He  has  none  of  the  fragrant .  grace  of 
Boulenger;  he  does  not  seek  after  tender  moods  of  light,  but, 
like  Rousseau,  loves  cold  day,  builds  up  his  landscape  in  a 
geological  fashion,  and  would  give  a  sense  of  the  structure  and 
VOL.  III.  15 


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aiS  MODERN  PAINTING 

stratification  of  the  earth ;  and  finally  he  went  aground  upon 
the  same  reef  on  which  Rousseau  foundered.  He  went  into 
pai'ticularities  more  and  more.  He  wished  to  render  everything 
plastically  in  its  full  bodily  shape,  the  levels  of  the  earth  as 
well  as  the  clouds  and  the  leaves.  And  thus  his  pictures 
received  an  appearance  of  something  laboured  and  built  up. 
In  his  effort  to  catch  the  common  tone  of  day  with  all  possible 
fidelity  he  fell  into  a  hard  and  cold  grey.  Like  Rousseau, 
Baron  was,  in  truth,  a  spirit  ever  searching  and  never  contented. 
His  art  is  the  very  opposite  to  what  is  facile,  spirited,  and  ready 
in  improvization.  It  has  something  heavy,  severe,  and  tough 
a  Flemish  honesty  and  a  rich   odour  of  the  earth. 

Jacques  Rosseels,  who  had  great  influence  as  a  teacher, 
worked  upon  the  same  principles,  although  a  brighter  and  paler 
light  is  diffused  over  the  sky  of  his  landscapes.  His  art  is  freer 
and  more  cheerful,  his  colouring  softer  and  more  flattering.  The 
red  roofs,  green  meadows,  and  rich  yellow  Flemish  cornfields 
have  a  blither  note.  Great  plains,  with  little  villages  and 
clattering  windmills,  he  had  also  a  joy  in  painting;  and  his 
works  would  have  a  yet  more  cordial  effect  had  he  not,  like 
his  predecessors  of  the  seventeenth  century,  had  such  a  love  for 
the  great  scale  of  size. 

To  Boulenger,  the  Belgian  Corot,  and  Baron,  the  Belgian 
Rousseau,  Joseph  Heymans  must  be  added  as  the  Belgian  Millet, 
and  his  first  appearance  was  likewise  made  in  the  year  i860. 
His  field  of  observation  is  the  whole  Flemish  land.  Besides  the 
sandy  dunes  and  broad  cultivated  fields,  he  painted  the  forests, 
meadows,  and  slumbering  pools,  the  heath,  the  long  straight 
avenues,  horizons  stretching  into  boundless  space,  and  tiny 
footpaths  leading  through  idyllic  woodlands.  He  loves  light 
though  he  also  paints  dark  thunderclouds,  dusk  shed  over  the 
fields,  and  night  wrapping  everything  in  its  mystical  veil.  And 
with  him  nature  is  ever  the  seat  of  human  toil.  Like  Millet,  he 
places  in  his  landscapes  the  rustic  moving  behind  his  plough, 
weeding,  mowing,  or  striding  across  the  field  scattering  seed  with 
a  grandeur  of  movement ;  the  day-labourer  going  to  his  work  in 
the  early  morning  with  a  heavy  tread ;  the  shepherd  in  his  blue 


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BELGIUM  2T9 

•cloak  standing  motionless  beside  his  grazing  flocks.  Like  Millet, 
too,  he  has  a  fine  feeling  for  quiet,  rhythmical  movement.  The 
ploughman^  the  shepherd,  the  sower,  have  in  his  pictures  also 
something  gravely  sacerdotal  in  their  large  gestures.  The  silence 
of  the  heath  in  the  heart  of  the  night,  with  the  great  figure  of 
the  shepherd  leaning  on  his  staff  and  the  white  sheep  melting 
into  the  darkness,  he  has  rendered  entirely  in  Millet's  spirit.  It 
is  only  the  softness  and  the  aerial .  appearance  of  Millet's  pastels 
that  he  has  not  reached.  His  solid,  pasty  handling  deprived 
objects  of  lightness.  His  water  has  a  congealed  look,  and  his 
leaves  hang  motionless  upon  the  boughs.  In  the  presence  of 
his  pictures  one  receives  the  notion  of  a  region  where  no  wind 
-can  ever  blow  and  no  bird  dwell.  His  sincere  and  serious 
art  was  unable  to  arrest  the  tremor  of  life,  the  heart-beat  of 
nature. 

;  Contemporaneously  with  Boulenger,  Coosemans  and  Asselbergs 
settled  in  the  forest  of  Tervueren,  whence  they  often  turned  their 
-gaze  towards  Fontainebleau.  Jules  Goethals^  who  appeared  some- 
what later,  in  1866,  with  his  phases  of  rainy  weather,  inclines 
rather  to  the  minute  painting  of  De  la  Berge;  he  regarded 
landscape  with  the  eyes  of  a  primitive  artist,  seeking  to  render 
trees,  fields,  and  blades  of  grass  in  all  their  details. 

As  in  Fontainebleau,  animal  painting  came  to  flourish  hand- 
in-hand  with  landscape,  though,  until  i860,  it,  too,  had  stood 
vpon  a  very  modest  level.  The  respectable  and  inexhaustible 
Verboeckhoven  at  that  time  enjoyed  especial  celebrity,  although 
Jiis  animals  had  only  a  distant  resemblance  to  those  of  real 
iife.  They  were  always  in  an  elegiac  frame  of  mind,  and  seemed, 
in  their  melancholy,  like  fallen  angels,  to  have  remembrance 
of  a  better  and  more  human  condition,  and  still  to  preserve, 
even  as  animals,  a  decent  behaviour  and  cleanliness.  His  little 
lambs  were  always  as  pretty  as  the  Lamb  of  God,  and  beneath 
their  broad  foreheads  his  oxen  revolved  profound  philosophical 
ideas.  Thin  little  trees  and  white  little  clouds  he  loved  like  his 
predecessor  Ommeganck^  and  like  him,  too,  he  was  long  the 
favourite  of  all  collectors  who  value  mathematical  conscientious- 
jiess  of  drawing  and  sniioothness  of  execution.     His  pupils  Louis 


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I  130  MODERN  PAINTING 

I 

j  Robbe  and  Charles  Tschaggeny  devoted  themselves  also  to  paint- 

I  ing  sheep,  and   in    Belgian   painting  occupy  the   place  held  by 

!  Brascassat  in  France.     Landscapes  were  filled  up  with  animals, 

or  else  animal  pictures  were  provided   with   an  arbitral  y  back- 
ground of  landscape.     But  animals  and   landscapes  were  never 
united  in  any  complete  representation  of  natural  life.     It  was  only 
after  a  new  kind  of  study  of  nature  had  been  rendered  possible 
by  the  landscape-painters  of  the  Tervueren   school   that  animal 
painters   entered  on   a   novel  course,     Alfred    Verwee^  who  first 
distinguished  himself  with  his  "Oxen  Grazing"  of  1863,  stands  to 
the  followers  of  Ommeganck  as  Troyon  to  those  of  Brascassat. 
He  is  the  specialist  of  rich  Flemish  meadows,  upon  which  sound 
and  powerful  animals  are  grazing,  and  over  which  there  arches 
a  soft  and  misty  sky.     All  his  pictures  are  treated  with  a  heavy 
and  pasty  handling,  and  the  air  and  clouds  are  usually  of  a  dull 
and   mournful   grey.      His  works  are   wanting   in   lightness  and 
transparency,  but  they  have  an  inborn  strength.     His  oxen  seem 
quite  at  home  in  the  luxuriant  meadows  where  they  sink  deep 
in  the  high  ripe  grass ;  and  in  their  dull,  brooding  ponderousness 
they  aim   at    being  no    more    than    animals,   whether    they   lie 
chewing  the  cud  upon  the  meadows  or  clumsily  tread  the  ground 
beneath  the  yoke.     Artiongst  his   pupils   Pannentier^  Lambrichs, 
De   Greef  Frans   van  Leemputten^  and  Lion  Massaux    became 
known.     Marie  Collaert,  the   Flemish   Rosa   Bonheur,  and   from 
1866  the  muse  of  Belgian  landscape,  has   a   position    to  herself 
with   her  intimate   pictures  of  country  life,  works    in   which    a 
masculine   and   powerful    handling   is  united   with   discreet    and 
tender  feminine  sentiment     In  Verwee  there  may  be  found  yokes 
of  oxen  at  their  labour,  the  odour  of  fertile  earth  steaming  from 
the    broken    soil,    and    grey    clouds  heavily  shifting  across    the 
firmament ;   in  Marie  Collaert  quiet  nooks  beneath   a  clear  sky, 
green  stretches  of  grass,  where  the  cows  are  at  pasture  in  idyllic 
peace.     In  the  one  there  is  the  battle  with  the  soil,  and  in  the 
other  the  cheery  freshness  of  country  life. 

The  painting  of  the  sea  began  with  Paul  Jean  Clays— \n 
external  matters,  at  least — to  enter  upon  the  stage  of  intimate 
art     He  broke  with  the  tradition  of  depicting  great  storms  (the 


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BELGIUM  231 

golden  age  of  which  coincided  with  the  raptures  of  the  historical 
picture),  and  painted  quiet  expanses  of  water,  the  regular  move- 
ment of  the  tide,  the  normal  condition  of  the  sea.  Whereas  the 
earlier  generation  loved  what  was  exaggerated  and  tempestuous,. 
Clays  sought — though  in  later  years  he  may  have  done  so  very 
artificially  and  by  routine — to  grasp  the  simple,  mysterious  poetry 
of  the  peaceful  sea,  and  to  render  with  faithfulness  the  tones  of 
the  waves,  just  as  the  landscape-painters,  when  they  had  once 
overcome  the  temptation  to  rhetorical  exaggeration,  searched 
out  still  and  quiet  comers,  which  receive  their  "  mood  "  from  the . 
atmosphere  alone.  The  magical  charm  of  morning,  the  golden 
brilliancy  of  the  evening  twilight,  the  infinite  variety  of  tones 
which  light  produces  upon  the  waves,  became  the  ideal  of 
sea-painters  after  Clays. 

A.  Bouviery  over  whose  pictures  there  hovers,  as  a  rule,  a 
monotonous  grey,  took  more  delight  in  the  splashing  of  the  waves 
and  rainy  sky  than  in  the  glittering  and  sparkling  repose  of  the 
sea.  In  Leemans  there  is  still  a  certain  echo  of  Romanticism 
and  a  weak  reminiscence  of  the  moonlight  nights  of  Van  der 
Necr.  And  in  recent  exhibitions  A.  Bctertsoen  has  attracted 
notice  by  seas  of  impressive  breadth  and  a  grave  and  sombre 
character.  Louis  Artan,  who  made  his  appearance  in  1866  with 
"  Dunes  upon  the  Shores  of  the  North  Sea,"  was  probably  the 
most  refined  and  subtile  colourist  amongst  the  Belgian  sea- 
painters.  Like  Clays,  he  scarcely  leaves  the  shore,  or,  at  any 
rate,  does  not  forget,  when  he  goes  upon  the  high  sea,  to  render 
the  faint  line  of  the  dunes  fringing  the  far  horizon.  His  colouring 
is  very  delicate:  he  seeks  pale,  blended  tones,  light  blue,  soft 
green,  pallid  rose-colour.  His  pictures  have  something  tender 
and  caressing.  Like  Boulenger,  as  a  landscape-painter  he  is 
more  sensitive  to  the  fleeting  tender  play  of  light  than  is  com- 
monly the  case  with  Belgian  painters.  Both  had  in  their  veins 
a  mixture  of  Flemish  and  French  blood,  and  it  gives  their 
paintings  a  peculiar  physiognomy,  an  attractive  mingling  of 
strength  and  grace,  of  Flemish  heaviness  and  French  ease. 

For  even  now,  when  Belgian  painting  has  got  beyond  the 
Courbet    phase,    there    is    no    doubt    that    a    certain     earthy 


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MagoMint  of  Art.} 

Wauters:   "The  Madness  of  Hugo  van  der  Goes." 

ponderousness,  and  an  unctuous  compactness,  the  very  opposite 
of  Impressionism,  still  remain,  despite  the  acceptance  of  bright 
tone.  There  are  in  Belgium  at  present  many,  indeed  very  many, 
good  painters  ;  and  Belgian  art  is  a  conscientious  and  honest 
art  Wherever  it  appears  it  makes  a  striking  effect  by  its 
soundness,  its  robust  strength,  and  its  animal  warmth.  But  its 
essential  importance  lies  in  a  rather  external  and  workmanlike 
bravura.  To  use  colour  as  the  expression  of  a  subtile  emotion, 
to  pursue  the  study  of  light  to  its  most  refined  results,  is  not 
the  business  of  the  Belgian  artists.  Their  painting  is  rich  and 
broad,  and  they  work  without  effort,  but  they  have  few  surprises. 
Blamelessly  good  as  are  their  productions,  their  scenes  from 
popular  life,  portraits,  landscapes,  and  still-life,  they  seldom  give 
occasion  for  discussion  in  reference  to  their  position  in  the 
history  of  art.   . 

/.  de  la  HoesCy  Meerts^  and  Ravet  represented  the  street- 
life  of  Brussels.  Josse  Iinpens,  faithful  to  old  Flemish  habits, 
entered  the  workshops  of  tailors  and  shoemakers.  In  Paris  Jan 
van  Beers  paints   matters   which  verge   on   the  indecorous.     At 


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223 


first  his  pungent  and  adroitly 
painted  pictures  are  seductive 
and  piquant,  and  then  one  sees 
their  intention  and  is  put  out  of 
humour.  Alfred  Hubert  handles 
military  scenes  and  scenes  from 
society,  and  Hoeteriks  the 
picturesque  thronging  of  great 
masses  of  people.  Xavier  Mel- 
lery  discovered  much  that  is 
pretty  in  interiors  upon  the 
island  of  Marken.  At  first  a 
pupil  of  G6r6me  and  Bouguereau, 
Carl  NySy  in  such  pictures  as 
"The  Orphans,"  "The  Lady  with 
the  Parasol,"  "  The  Lady  with 
the  Monkey,"  followed  the  path 
prescribed  by  Alfred  Stevens. 
In  his  triptych  "A  Day  from 
the  Life  of  Chalk-Sellers,"  Lhn 
Fridiric  appeared  as  a  repre- 
sentative of  the  painting  of  the 
poor,  which  amongst  Belgians  at 
that  time  frequently  assumed  the 
character  of  art  with  a  revolu- 
tionary purpose.  And  Felix  Ter 
Linden  was  probably  the  most  a  pupil  of  the  French,  and 
rose  above  the  heavy  grey  painting  of  the  others,  as  a  genuine 
Impressionist  and  refined  charmeury  by  a  rapid  and  animated 
treatment,  and  a  touch  of  improvization  and  subtilty. 

Entile  Wauters,  also  a  thoroughly  Flemish  painter,  is  to  be 
highly  respected  on  all  points,  although  it  is  impossible  to  feel 
enthusiasm  for  him.  He  was  barely  thirty  when  he  received 
the  medal  of  honour  at  the  Paris  World  Exhibition  of  1878 
for  a  couple  of  historical  pictures  from  the  life  of  Mary  of 
Bui^undy  and  of  Hugo  van  der  Goes.  The  admirers  of 
historical  painting  at  that  time  believed  that  they  could  welcome 


Mag,  ofArt,\  ItarUr  te. 

Wautkrs  :  Lieutenant-General 

goffinet. 


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224  MODERN  PAINTING 

in  him  the  Messiah  of  a  grand  art  resuscitated,  one  who  would 
continue  the  old  traditions  of  Wappers  and  Gallait  His  works 
were,  as  a  matter  of  fact,  good  historical  pictures,  very 
judiciously  composed,  and  containing  characters  developed  in  a 
convincing  fashion.  Moreover  Wauters  was  entirely  free  from 
the  washed-out  and  hollow  exaggeration  of  the  ideal  of  beauty 
favoured  by  the  older  school,  and  he  rendered  with  simplicity 
the  portraits  of  living  men  who  seemed  to  him  to  have  a 
resemblance  to  heroes  of  the  episodes  he  would  represent. 
The  monk  endeavouring  to  soothe  poor  Hugo  van  der  Goes 
by  music  is  an  exceedingly  vivid  likeness,  while  the  children, 
choristers,  and  singers  are  painted  very  naturally  and  well,  and 
altogether  to  the  purpose.  Even  the  mad  painter  is  not  posing. 
Wauters  has  thoroughly  studied  the  symptoms  of  madness  in 
an  insane  person,  and  at  the  same  time  he  has  tactfully 
observed  the  distinction  between  painting  and  medical  analysis. 
Even  now  the  picture  makes  the  effect  of  a  forcible  work  in 
the  Brussels  Museum,  and  after  the  lapse  of  twenty  years  there 
are  not  many  historical  works  which  will  bear  scrutiny. 

His  Eastern  pictures  are  equally  good  and  judicious.  Having 
set  out  in  1870  to  witness  the  opening  of  the  Suez  Canal,  he 
visited  Alexandria,  Port  Said,  Ismailia,  and  Cairo ;  and  he 
repeated  this  Egyptian  journey  in  1880,  accompanying  the 
Crown  Prince  Rudolf  of  Austria,  while  in  connection  with  it 
he  executed  various  North  African  scenes,  in  which  he  noted 
the  kaleidoscopic  motley ness  of  Oriental  towns,  the  vibrating 
life  of  the  streets  of  Cairo  and  Boulac,  with  the  con- 
scientiousness of  an  ethnographical  student.  One  takes  him  at 
his  word  when  he  puts  upon  canvas  a  strip  of  African  ground 
in  large  dimensions  in  his  panorama  "  Cairo  and  the  Banks 
of  the  Nile."  Nor  does  one  doubt  that  his  portraits,  which 
in  recent  years  achieved  for  him  his  greatest  successes,  are 
uncommonly  like  their  originals  :  Madame  Somz6e  in  a  dark -blue 
silk  dress,  standing  in  a  fashionable  room  with  dark  decorations ; 
young  M.  Cosme  Somz^e,  also  dressed  in  blue,  and  riding  on 
his  pony  through  the  dunes  ;  and  Lieutenant-General  Goffinet, 
a  portrait  which  won  the  gold  medal  at  the  Munich  Exhibition 


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BELGIUM  225 

of  1890.  Emile  Wauters  rises  above  the  vigorous  group  of 
Belgian  portrait-painters,  LUvin  de  Winner  AgneesenSy  LambrichSy 
De  Gonckely  Nisen,  and  others,  as  the  most  natural  and  energetic. 
All  his  likenesses  are  powerful  in  characterization,  colour,  and 
exposition ;  they  have  been  seen  in  an  unusually  impressive 
manner,  and  placed  before  the  spectator  in  a  broad,  manly, 
and  full-blooded  style  of  painting.  Wauters  knew  all  that  was 
to  be  known,  and  in  his  judicious  loyalty  he  is  one  of  the 
soundest  painters  of  the  present  time.  Only  temperament  and 
warmth  of  feeling  are  not  to  be  sought  for  in  his  works.  That 
is  what  distinguishes  him  from  Lenbach,  for  instance,  though 
in  other  respects  he  shares  with  the  latter  the  oiliness  of  his 
pictures  an,d  their  want  of  atmosphere.  Lenbach  allows  the  eyes 
alone  to  shme  from  a  dark  scale  of  tone  artistically  imitated 
from  the  old  masters,  and  out  of  this  he  elaborates  intellectual 
character.  Wauters  places  his  figures  in  all  their  massive 
corporeality  against  a  light  grey  background.  In  the  one  there 
is  a  spiritual  individuality,  a  momentary  impression  of  quivering 
psychical  life ;  in  the  other  a  robust  counterpart  of  nature, 
colour  and  canvas,  phlegmatic  constitution,  and  Flemish  heavi- 
ness. 

Verstraete  may  probably  be  reckoned  the  most  refined  of 
the  Belgian  landscape-painters  who  have  made  an  impression 
in  the  exhibitions  of  recent  years.  There  were  to  be  seen  by 
him  summer-pieces  with  bright  green,  luminous,  and  luxuriant 
stretches  of  grass,  girlish  figfures  dressed  in  bluish-white,  and 
gaily  blooming  fruit-trees  touched  by  the  sunbeams.  Also  he 
paints  night-pieces  :  peasant  couples,  who  stand  of  an  evening 
by  a  hedge  in  the  village.  The  sky  sparkles  with  stars,  and 
the  magic  of  silent  night  reposes  over  this  poetic  idyll  which 
has  been  felt  in  such  a  homely  way.  There  is  expressed  in 
his  works  a  creative  faculty,  joyous  and  spontaneous,  sympathetic 
and  replete  with  the  freshness  of  youth.  Potato  harvests,  with 
buxom  girls,  are  painted  by  Claus  in  a  fine  and  delicate  grey 
which  recalls  Emile  Barau.  And  Frans  Courtens  is  specially  at 
his  ease  in  the  autumnal  woods,  when  the  leaves  fall  from  the 
tree-tops,  yellow,  red,  and   grey,  and  a  thin   rain  drips  through 


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226 


MODERN  PAINTING 


the  open  network 
of  foliage.  Or  else 
he  seats  himself 
before  the  sombre 
and  majestic  sea  in 
the  evening,  when 
the  moon  rises  and 
touches  the  waves 
with  glittering  lines 
of  silver.  Both  in 
the  autumn  pictures 
and  in  the  seascapes 
the  confusion  of 
yellow  and  green 
colours  is  dazzling, 
and  is  only  felt  to 
be  a  little  theatrical 
when  one  thinks 
how  much  more 
profoundly  Jacob 
Maris  would  have 
penetrated  into  the  same  scenes.  Like  the  Flemish  landscapists 
of  the  seventeenth  century,  Courtens  loves  great  spaces  of 
canvas  and  great  gold  frames,  but  he  likewise  shares  with  them 
the  qualities  of  a  bravura  painter,  somewhat  addicted  to  outward 
show.  His  pictures  are  more  the  result  of  technical  refinement 
than  of  intimate  emotion.  He  renders  the  materiality  of  forms, 
as  also  the  phenomena  of  light,  with  astonishing  sureness,  and 
he  has  a  large  and  strong-handed  method  of  treatment,  much 
local  truth,  brilliant  colour  and  great  sincerity,  but  he  never 
rids  himself  of  a  certain  prosaic  manner  of  conception,  which 
is  wanting  in  the  deeper  kind  of  intimate  sympathy.  His 
painting  is  solid,  but  not  suggestive  prose,  the  very  opposite  of 
that  lyric  painting,  so  rich  in  feeling,  which  was  peculiar  to  the 
French  painter-poets.  And  here,  too,  he  proclaims  himself  a 
true  son  of  his  country. 

Belgian  naturalism   is   like   a  vigorous   body   fed   upon   solid 


IHdnJstdngt  photo  sc, 
Courtens:   "Golden  Laburnum.*' 


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BELGIUM  227 

nourishment ;  but  in  this  physical  contentment  the  capacity 
for  enthusiasm  and  tenderness  of  feeling  have  been  lost  in  some 
d^ree.  The  pictures  look  as  though  they  had  been  painted 
throughout,  painted  in  oil,  and  painted  in  a  peculiarly  Belgian 
way.  The  painters  rejoice  in  their  fertile  tracts  of  land,  their 
fat  herds,  and  the  healthy  smell  of  the  cowhouse,  yet  about 
finer  feelings  they  trouble  themselves  but  little.  Everywhere 
there  predominates  a  firm  and  even  technique,  and  but  little 
peculiar  intimacy  and  freshness.  They  have  not  yet  come  to 
paint  the  fine  perfume  of  things,  nor  to  render  the  softness  of 
their  tone  values ;  they  have  no  feeling  for  the  light  tremor 
of  the  atmosphere  and  the  tender  poetic  dallying  of  light. 
Material  heaviness  and  prosaic  sobriety  are  expressed  in  every- 
thing' — the  racial  characteristics  by  which  Flemish  painting,  even 
in  the  seventeenth  century,  so  far  as  it  was  autochthonous,  was 
distinguished  from  the  contemporary  painting  of  the  Dutch. 


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CHAPTER  XXXIX 

HOLLAND 

The  difference  between  Dutch  and  Belgian  Minting, — The  previous  history 
of  artistic  efforts  in  Holland, — Koekkoek,  Van  Schendel,  David  Bles, 
Hermann  ten  ICate,  Pienemann,  Charles  Rochupen,  Weissenbruch, 
Bosboonty  Schelfhout,  Taurel,  Wdldorfi,  Kuytenbroumer.  —  Figure- 
painters:  yosef  Israels,  Christoffel  Bisschopy  Gerk  Henkes^  Albert 
Neuhuys,  Adolf  Artt,  Pieter  Oyens, — The  landscape-painters: 
Jongkind,  Jacob  and  Willem  Maris ^  Anton  Mauve,  H,  W,  Mesdag, 
^Realism  and  Sensitivism:  Klinkenberg^  Gabriel, — The  younger 
genet'ation,  —  Neo* Impressionism  :  Isaac  Israels  and  Breitner, — 
Matthew  Maris  and  Mysticism, —  W.  Bauer  and  Jan  Toorop, — Thorn 
Prikker,^**  Expressionism  :  **  Jan  Veth  and  Haver  man,  Karpen  and 
Tholen. 

IF  Belgium  is  the  land  of  technique,  the  intimacy  of  the 
modem  sentiment  for  nature  has  perhaps  found  the  most 
delicate  interpreters  in  the  painters  of  Holland.  What  is 
external  predominates  in  the  one  country— oils  and  brush;  in 
the  other  heart  and  hand  are  united,  sentiment  and  technique. 
The  ancestor  of  modern  Belgian  painting  is  Courbet;  the  birth 
of  modern  Dutch  painting  is  contemporaneous  with  that|great 
historical  moment  when  the  French  landscape-painters  took  up 
their  abode  in  the  forest  of  Fontainebleau,  after  they  [had 
acquired  an  understanding  for  the  old  Dutch  masters  in  the 
Louvre.  What  had  been  a  revolution  in  other  countries  was 
here  no  more  than  a  process  of  evolution.  For  the  influence 
of  the  French  upon  the  Dutch  merely  consisted  in  giving  them 
once  more  the  comprehension  for  the  beautiful  works  of  their 
own  compatriots  in  the  past.  A  succession  of  great  and 
delicate  spirits  merely  took  again  the  old,  unbroken  tradition, 
and  continued  it  in  the  present  without  effort. 

aa8 


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HOLLAND  229 

Until  the  middle  of  the  century  the  Dutch  had  made  but 
little  profit  out  of  this  heritage.  The  spirit  had  fled,  even  that 
of  Dow  and  Mieris,  and  only  the  phlegm  remained.  As  a 
matter  of  fact  the  Dutch  painters  of  the  eighteenth  century 
sought  to  outbid  the  minute  little  painting  of  Netscher  by 
paltry  imitation,  and  had  as  a  motto  inscribed  upon  their 
banner  purity  of  line  as  it  is  understood  by  the  bourgeoisie 
and  technique  as  it  is  understood  by  the  drawing-master.  In 
the  beginning  of  the  nineteenth  century,  so  far  as  anything 
was  produced  at  all,  they  had  fallen  into  heavy  and  laboured 
imitation  of  French  Classicism,  and  in  addition  to  this  they 
were  slightly  touched  with  a  trace  of  Romanticism,  which 
entered  into  a  really  comical  misalliance  with  the  Dutch  phlegm. 
And  the  representatives  of  the  Dutch  school  of  1830,  arid, 
inartistic,  and  tinged  with  false  idealism,  turned  out  in  land- 
scape nothing  but  scenical  pieces,  void  of  atmosphere,  and  in 
the  figure-picture  historical  or  burlesque  anecdotes,  romantic 
melodramas,  or  peasant  pieces  from  the  comic  opera — cold, 
inanimate,  and  conventional  paintings,  such  as  all  Europe  pro- 
duced at  that  time. 

The  next  generation  endeavoured  with  great  labour  to  raise 
itself  somewhat,  being  specially  incited  by  contact  with  the 
Belgians.  Yet  even  these  good  intentions  and  most  praise- 
worthy efforts  were  crowned  with  but  little  success.  Certain 
landscapes  and  intimate  studies  from  life  show  that  the  spirit 
which  had  lived  in  the  great  men  of  the  seventeenth  century 
was  not  entirely  extinct,  although  it  had  become  exceedingly 
debilitated.  Koekkoek  and  Van  Schendel  painted  their  land- 
scapes, which  are  exceedingly  judicious  in  manner  and  in  a 
petty  way  correct  David  Bles  remembered  Teniers,  and 
mingled  with  the  technique  of  that  master  something  of  the 
genre  humour  of  Wilkie.  "  An  Audience  easily  Pleased," 
"  Family  Friends,"  and  the  like,  are  the  characteristic  titles  of 
his  pictures.  But  if  Bles  was  the  Madou  of  Holland,  Hermann 
ten  Kate  aimed  at  being  the  Dutch  Meissonier.  He  was  one 
of  those  who  cannot  imagine  painting  without  theatrical 
costumes,    broad-brimmed    grey    felt    hats,    large    collars,    and 


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230  MODERN  PAINTING 

graceful  cloaks.  The  historical  painter  Plenemann  painted  in 
the  style  of  Gros,  and  some  of  his  portraits  are  not  without 
merit  » 

The  only  man  of  superior  merit  whom  the  '*  historical  school " : 
has  produced  in  Holland  is  Charles  Rochupen,  To  take  him  as: 
a  painter  is  to  take  him  from  his  weakest  side,  for  his  colour; 
scheme  is  "conventional** — a  convention  of  his  own,  no  doubt;; 
but  in  any  case  absolutely  without  regard  to  truth  and  nature,, 
or  even  to  the  requirements  of  his  subject.  But  his  drawing  has 
a  charm  and  character  of  its  own  ;  his  groupings  are  lively  and* 
fanciful,  his  use  of  old  costume  shows  a  regard  for  picturesqueness, 
and  his  touch  is  both  easy  and  aristocratic.  He  is  the  chosen* 
illustrator  of  the  Dutch  historical  novel,  and  at  a  time  when' 
book-illustration  was  at  its  lowest  in  Holland  and  everywhere, 
Charles  Rochupen  knew  how  to  render  a  scene  in  black-and- 
white  with  impressiveness  and  artistic  decency.  Vulgarity  had 
never  a  greater  enemy  than  he.  This  same  quality  of  innate' 
aristocracy  characterizes  the  work  of  Johannes  Bosboom,  the 
painter  of  architecture.  Under. th^  gfuidance  of  Rembrandt  and 
Pieter  de  Hoogh,  he  rendered  very  delicately  in  oils  and  water-' 
colours  the  play  of  sunbeams  in  the  interior  of  picturesque 
churches,  and  warm  effects  of  light  in  large  halls  and  dusky 
corners.  As  a  rule  the  light  streams  in  broken  yellow  tones 
over  the  masonry  from  a  great  window  in  the  background^  and 
rests  broadly  upon  the  walling  of  the  vault ;  the  dark  mass  of 
the  great  Renaissance  screen  is  thrown  out  sharply,  while 
choristers  move  with  candles  in  the  depths  of  the  nave. 

Bosboom,  like  /.  W.  Weissenbruch,  was  one  of  the  painters 
of  the  old  school  who  not  only  helped  to  prepare  the  ground 
to  be  maintained  by  a  new  generation,  but  who  allowed  them- 
selves to  be  influenced  by  the  new  conception  of  art.  Whilst 
Schelfhouty  Taurel,  WcUdarp,  and  Kuytenbrouwer,  though  Knights 
of  the  Dutch  Order  of  the  Lion  and  of  the  Oaken  Crown,  only 
lived  to  be  forgotten  for  all  their  painstaking  work,  both- 
Bosboom  and  Weissenbruch  have  won  fame  in  the  later  period, 
when  they  had  taught  themselves  to  express  a  great  deal  with 
very    little   means.     There   are    drawings    and   water-colours    by 


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HOLLAND 


231 


yittAmboa  photo.] 


BosBOOM  :   "  A  Church  Interior.'* 


Bosboom  which,  with  a  few  lines  and  just  a  bit  of  colour,  open 
up  wide  visions  to  the  imagination. 

And  thus,  when  the  younger  artists  came  upon  the  scene, 
they  were  not  obliged  to  drive  back  any  hostile  and  opposing 
tendencies.  The  battle  which  had  to  be  fought  elsewhere 
before  truth  and  sincerity  could  be  placed  upon  the  throne 
usurped  by  theatrical  rhetoric  was  certainly  spared  to  Israels 
and  his  comrades.  It  was  merely  a  question  of  sowing  with 
greater  energy  and  vigour  than  these  older  artists  the  ground 
which  had  lain  fallow  since  the  seventeenth  century.  The 
argument  was  put,  more  or  less,  in  the  following  way :  "  Our 
ancestors  had  an .  enthusiasm  for  their  own  country  and  their 
own  period.  If  we  have  not  their  genius,  let  us,  at  any  rate, 
attempt  to  pursue  their  path.  Instead  of  seeking  inspiration 
in  their  times  and  their  country '  let  us  seek  it  in  our  own. 
As  regards  the  country  there   is   no  difficulty,  for  we  are  their 


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232  MODERN  PAINTING 

compatriots,  and  apart  from  a  few  hectares  won  from  the 
ocean  Holland  has  little  altered  in  appearance  during  the  last 
two  hundred  years.  It  is  only  in  the  matter  of  period  that 
every  idea  of  outward  imitation  must  be  given  up.  Let  us, 
then,  imitate  our  great  masters  with  no  intention  of  doing  over 
again  what  they  did  in  their  own  time,  but  with  the  aim  of 
doing  what  they  would  have  done  had  they  lived  in  our 
century." 

After  the  end  of  the  fifties  the  influence  of  French  exhibitions 
confirmed  the  Dutch  in  these  efforts.  Through  the  pictures  of 
Millet  and  Daubigny  the  young  Dutch  artists  learnt  that  they  had 
no  need  of  bringing  historical  pictures  into  the  world,  but  that 
it  was  their  business  to  win  the  secrets  of  the  seashore,  the 
strand,  the  dunes,  and  the  canals  of  the  old  towns,  if  they  would 
become  modem  painters.  And  admitting  they  had  made  a  great 
mistake  in  imitating  from  the  old  masters  antiquated  dress  and 
the  manners  of  bygone  times,  their  task  was  now  to  follow  them 
in  what  was  essential.  For  the  old  pictures  had  shown  the  men 
of  their  day  neither  far-fetched  nor  long-forgotten  curiosities, 
but  appealed  to  them  simply  and  cordially  as  Millet's  paintings 
had  done  to  his  own  countrymen.  It  was  quite  peacefully 
therefore,  and  without  any  battle,  that  modem  art  came  into  life 
in  Holland  In  fact  it  seemed  as  if  Pieter  de  Hoogh,  Van  Goyen, 
and  Ruysdael  had  merely  awaited  the  time  when  they  would  be 
understood  once  more  to  set  themselves  before  the  easel.  This 
direct  derivation  from  classic  masters  gives  a  classic  stamp  to 
the  modem  artists  of  Holland. 

As  soon  as  the  Dutch  are  seen  in  any  exhibition,  its  rooms 
are  impregnated  with  a  sense  of  peaceful  clarity  and  of  a  quiet 
sureness  of  effect  recalling  the  old  masters.  The  spectator  is 
conscious  of  the  soft,  even,  and  continuous  warmth  of  the  great 
faience  stoves  which  stand  in  prosperous  Dutch  houses.  There 
is  no  noise,  no  unrest,  no  struggling.  Softer  than  ever,  yielding 
and  almost  melancholy,  though  not  so  universally  comprehensive 
as  the  old  art  which  compassed  the  whole  life  of  reality  and 
dreamland,  from  the  magnificent  conceptions  of  Rembrandt  to 
the   most  burlesque  scenes  of  Ostade,  the   new  art  of  Holland 


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HOLLAND  233 

handles  the  scenes  of  life  and  the  life  of  nature  with  a  dignified 
simplicity,  the  charm  of  profound  intimacy  and  cordial  tenderness. 
Holland  is  the  most  harmonious  country  in  the  world,  the  country 
of  dim  rooms  and  pleasant  inner  chambers,  wide  plains  and 
melancholy  dunes,  magnificent  forms  of  cloud  and  skies  subdued 
in  colour.  There  is  nowhere  broad  light,  nowhere  broad  shadow, 
no  crystal  clearness  and  but  seldom  heavy  mist  A  softly 
hovering  light  of  diminished  strength  envelops  everything. 
Vaporous  grey  clouds  cover  the  sky.  The  air  is  impregnated 
with  moisture.  Few  colours  are  to  be  seen,  and  yet  everything 
is  colour.  And  to  this  spot  of  the  earth  the  Dutch  painters  are 
united  by  a  tender  sentiment  of  home.  Their  art  is  marked 
by  a  touching  and  cordial  provincialism,  the  patriotism  of  the 
church  spire.  They  remain  quietly  in  the  country,  and  confine 
themselves  to  the  representation  of  their  birthplace — the  stately 
ports  of  its  sea-board  towns,  the  beach  of  its  watering-places, 
the  peaceful  dignity  of  its  life,  the  heaviness  of  its  cattle,  and 
the  rich  soil  of  its  fields.  The  harsh  sincerity  of  the  French 
naturalists  becomes  softer  and  more  tender  in  the  hands  of  the 
Dutch  ;  the  audacity  of  the  French  "  luminists,"  ever  seeking  the 
light,  has  become  more  dusky  and  sombre  under  the  influence 
of  the  Dutch  atmosphere.  Drawing  from  the  soil  of  home  its 
entire  strength,  they  have  made  for  themselves,  in  art  as  in 
politics,  a  peaceful  little  land  where  the  noises  of  the  day  find 
no  disturbing  echo. 

The  decisive  year  which  led  the  stream  of  Dutch  painting 
back  into  its  old  course  once  more  was  1857,  the  very  year 
when  a  new  movement  in  Dutch  literature  was  begun  with 
Multatuli.  In  1855  one  Josef  Israels  was  represented  at  the 
World  Exhibition  in  Paris  by  an  historical  picture :  "  The  Prince 
of  Orange  for  the  first  time  opposing  the  Execution  of  the  Orders 
of  the  King  of  Spain."  And  in  the  catalogue  of  the  Paris  Salon 
of  1857  the  same  name  appeared  opposite  the  titles  "Children 
by  the  Sea "  and  an  "  Evening  on  the  Beach,"  a  couple  of  simple 
pictures  representing  the  neighbourhood  of  Katwijk.  Thus 
Israels'  life  embodies  a  period  in  modern  art,  that  which  led  from 
the  academical   hierarchy,   from    conventionality,   inflexibility    of 

VOL.  III.  16 


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Magazine  of  Art.] 

Josef  Israels  and  his  Son  Isaac. 


line,  and  poverty  of  colour^ 
to  the  intimate,  sensitive, 
subtile,  and  entirely  per- 
sonal emotion  which 
characterizes  the  great 
works  of  art  belonging  to 
the  end  of  this  century. 

Josef  Israels,  the  Dutch 
Millet,  was  born  on 
January  27th,  1824,  in 
Groningen,  a  little  com- 
mercial town  in  the  north 
of  Holland.  He  wanted  to  be  a  rabbi,  studied  Hebrew  in  his 
youth,  and  buried  himself  in  the  Talmud.  When  he  left  school 
he  entered  the  small  banking  business  of  his  father,  and  often 
went  with  a  money-bag  under  his  arm  to  the  neighbouring 
banking  house  of  Mr.  Mesdag,  whose  son,  H.  W.  Mesdag,  the 
painter  of  seascapes,  had  little  idea  at  the  time  that  ever  a 
sea-piece  of  his  would  hang  in  the  studio  of  this  poor  Jewish 
lad.  But  in  1844  Israels  went  to  Amsterdam  to  the  studio 
of  Jan  Kruseman,  who  was  then  a  fashionable  painter.  His 
parents  had  sent  him  to  lodge  with  a  pious  Jewish  family, 
who  lived  in  the  "  Joden-bre^straat,"  the  Ghetto  of  Amsterdam. 
He  was  enchanted  with  the  narrow  little  streets  where  the 
inhabitants  could  shake  hands  from  one  window  to  another, 
and  with  the  old  market-places  where  there  gathered  a  swarm 
of  Oriental-looking  men.  Like  Rembrandt,  he  roamed  about 
the  out-of-the-way  alleys,  noted  the  general  dealers,  the  fish- 
wives, the  fruit-shops  with  apples  and  oranges,  the  pretty  and 
picturesque  Jewesses,  and  all  this  mass  of  life  condensed  into 
such  a  little  space,  without  at  first  contemplating  the  possi- 
bility of  drawing  the  figures  which  he  saw  around  him.  On 
the  contrary,  like  a  diligent  pupil,  he  followed  the  academical 
instructions  of  Kruseman,  under  whose  guidance  he  produced 
a  series  of  grand  historical  pictures  and  Italian  scenes  of 
peasant  life. 

A  journey  to  Paris  which  he  undertook  in  1845,  moved  by 


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Vinkntbos  photo.} 


Israels:   ''A  Son  of  God's  People." 


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237 


Gam,  eUs  Btaux-Arts.'] 


Israels  :   "  The  Toilers  of  the  Sea." 


[Deaboutm  sc. 


the  exhibition  of  certain  Gretchen  pictures  of  the  Frenchified 
Dutchman  and  elegiac  Romanticist  Ary  Scheffer,  did  not 
in  any  way  cause  him  to  alter  his  ideas.  He  betook  himself, 
as  a  matter  of  fact,  to  the  studio  of  Picot,  an  old  pupil  of 
David,  where  in  those  days  over  a  hundred  and  fifty  young 
students  were  at  work,  and  there  the  first  rules  of  the  French 
historical  painting  were  communicated  to  him.  Then  he  pre- 
sented  himself  for  entrance  into  the  Ecole  des  Beaux-Arts, 
showing  "  Achilles  and  Patroclus "  as  his  probationary  drawing, 
and  he  came  to  Paul  Delaroche  just  after  Millet  had  left 
Delaroche's  studio.  Pils  and  Lenepveu  are  said  to  have  been 
the  only  fellow-students  with  whom  he  made  much  acquaintance, 
for  he  was  diffident  and  awkward  in  society.  And  when  he 
returned  home  in  1848,  the  year  of  the  revolution,  the  result  of 
his  residence  in  Paris  was  exactly  the  same  as  that  of  Millet's: 
he  had  starved  himself,  studied  in  the  Louvre,  and  seen  in  the 
Salon  how  "grand  painting"  was  carried  on  in   France.      Now 


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MODERN  PAINTING 


Magaaine  of  Art.^ 


Israels:  "Weary." 


\M.  Haider  se. 


he  took  a  room  in  Amsterdam  and  tried  to  paint  as  Delaroche 
had  taught  him.  "  Aaron  discovers  in  his  Tent  the  Corpses  of 
his  Two  Sons,"  ''  Hamlet  and  his  Mother,"  "  William  the  Silent 
and  Margaret  of  Parma,"  "  Prince  Maurice  of  Nassau  beside 
the  Body  of  his  Father" — these  were  the  first  works  which 
he  sent  to  Dutch  exhibitions ;  knights  in  moonlight  and 
Calabrian  brigands  were  the  first  which  he  sold — for  from  fifteen 
to  twenty  guilders— to  patrons  of  art  in  Amsterdam.  Such 
names  as  Pienemann,  Kruseman,  Scheffer,  Picot,  and  Delaroche 
cannot  explain  what  Israels  became  afterwards  for  Dutch  art. 
As  with  Millet,  it  was  an  accident,  a  severe  trial  in  life,  which 
decided  the  future  of  Israels. 

Some  time  after  he  had  settled  in  Amsterdam  he  became 
exceedingly  ill,  and  went  to  Zandvoort,  a  small  fishing  village 
near  Haarlem,  for  his  health.  In  this  spot,  hidden  amongst 
the  dunes,  he  lived  solitary  and  alone,  far  from  the  bustle  of 
exhibitions,  artistic  influences,  and  the  discussions  of  the  studio. 


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HOLLAND 


239 


Israels:   "A  Mother's  Care.** 


[Hanfstangl  photo. 


He  lodged  with  a  ship's  carpenter,  took  part  in  all  the  usages 
of  his  house-mates,  and  began  to  perceive  amid  these  new 
surroundings,  as  Millet  had  done  in  Barbizon,  that  the  events 
of  the  present  are  capable  of  being  painted,  that  the  sorrows 
of  the  poor  are  as  deep  as  the  tragical  fate  of  ancient  heroes, 
that  everyday  life  is  as  poetic  as  any  historical  subject,  and 
that  nothing  suggests  richer  moods  of  feeling  than  the  interior 
of  a  fishing-hut,  bathed  in  tender  light  and  harmonious  in 
•colour.  This  residence  of  several  months  in  a  distant  little 
village  led  him  to  discover  his  calling,  and  determined  his  further 
career.  Incessantly  did  he  make  studies  of  nature,  and  of  full- 
toned  interiors,  simple  costumes,  and  the  dunes  with  their  pale 
grass  and  yellow  sand.  For  the  first  time  he  was  carried  away 
by  the  intimate  beauty  of  these  simple  things  steeped  in  ever- 
lasting  poetry.      Like    Millet,   he  conceived    an   enthusiasm   for 


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Amsttrdam :  Schalekamp.] 

Israels:  "Alone  in  the  World." 

the  life  of  peasants,  for  the  rudeness  of  their  outline,  for  their 
large  forms  which  have  become  typical  from  going  through 
ever  the  same  movements  and  repeating  ever  the  same  work. 
Zandvoort  was  a  revelation  for  him.  Entirely  saturated  as  he 
was  with  academical  traditions,  he  became  here  the  artist  who 
represented  dramas  in  the  life  of  seafaring  folk,  the  painter 
of  peaceful,  poetic  deathbeds,  and  dim,  familiar  interiors,  the 
painter  of  lonely  meadows  in  the  misty  dawn.  Here  he  came 
to  understand  the  mysteries  of  light  as  it  is  in  Holland,  and 
here  he  witnessed  the  sad  dramas  of  the  suffering  life  and 
death  of  the  poor,  and  lived  all  those  pictures,  the  full  harmonies 
of  which,  never  seen  before,  soon  outshone  in  Dutch  exhibitions 
the  loud,  motley  exaggeration  of  the  historical  pieces  of 
Kruseman. 

At  the  time  when  De  Groux  in  Brussels  revelled  in  harsh 
representations  of  misery,  Israels  appeared  in  Holland  with  his 
lyrical,  sympathetic  art,  which  was  entirely  free  from  didactic 
intention.  Back  once  more  in  Amsterdam,  he  settled  in  the 
Rozengracht,  and  passed  seven  years  in  the  city  of  Rembrandt, 


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HOLLAND 


241 


in  close  friendship 
with  Burger-Thor6 
and  Mouilleron,  the 
engraver  of  Rem- 
brandt's "  Night- 
Watch."  The  first 
works  which  he 
painted  here,  com- 
pared with  his  later 
works,  have  still  a 
slight  touch  oi  genre 
in  them,  betraying 
too  openly  a  design 
to  set  the  spectator 
smiling  or  weeping. 
**  First  Love  "  was 
the  picture  of  a  girl 
at  a  window  with  a 
young  man  placing 
an  engagement  ring 
upon  her  finger. 
His  first  celebrated 
picture,  "  By  the  Mother's  Grave,"  which  was  bought  by  the 
Amsterdam  Academy  of  Arts  and  now  hangs  in  the  National 
Museum,  represents  a  weather-beaten  fisherman  visiting  the 
graveyard  where  his  wife  reposes  after  a  toilsome  life,  and 
carrying  as  he  goes  his  youngest  child  on  his  arm,  whilst  he 
leads  an  elder  one  by  the  hand. 

In  1862  he  exhibited  in  London  "The  Cradle"  and  "The 
Shipwrecked  Man,"  that  great  dramatic,  and  perhaps  somewhat 
theatrical,  picture  which  made  his  fjame  abroad.  The  storm  has 
passed,  the  waves  have  subsided,  the  greyish-black  thunderclouds 
have  vanished,  and  greenish,  pallid  sky  smiles  upon  the  earth 
once  more.  But  upon  the  waves  a  shattered  boat  still  rocks. 
Men,  women,  and  children  have  come  down  to  see  who  the 
unfortunate  wretch  may  be,  lying  dead  upon  the  strand,  cast 
up  by  the  tide.      A   couple  of  fishermen   are  carrying   him   off. 


Paris  :  Boussod-  halation.] 

Israels:   "Returning  from  Work." 


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242  MODERN  PAINTING 

whilst  the  rest  follow  upon  the  strand  in  a  melancholy  train. 
In  this  picture  there  was  still  something  violent  and  melo 
dramatic,  nor  were  the  means  of  pictorial  expression  as  yet  so 
simple  as  they  became  in  the  later  works  of  the  master. 
Nevertheless  it  made  a  great  sensation  in  London,  and  The 
AthencBum  wrote  of  it  as  the  most  moving  picture  in  the 
exhibition.  English  collectors  began  to  valfie  Israels  and 
to  buy  his  pictures.  Mr.  Forbes  alone  possesses  forty  of  his 
works,  amongst  them  the  great  painting  "  Through  Darkness 
to  Light,"  and  that  beautiful  smaller  picture  in  which  may 
be  found  for  the  first  time  all  the  quiet  and  sad  simplicity 
of  Israels'  later  works,  "  The  Evening  before  Parting."  There 
is  a  little  peasant's  chamber,  half  in  shadow,  and  illuminated 
only  by  dull,  meagre  light.  After  a  life  of  struggles  and  priva- 
tions, lit  up  by  few  beams  of  light,  the  great  peace  has  come 
for  the  poor  fisherman  who  lies  upon  his  deathbed.  He  suffers 
no  more,  and  is  no  more  conscious.  His  eyes  are  closed,  his  lips 
motionless,  his  features  rigid.  Underlying  the  whole  there  is  a 
profound  personal  feeling,  a  great  human  poetry,  and  the  sombre 
tones  of  the  picture  correspond  to  it,  for  despising  all  finesses 
they  are  content  to  be  the  expression  of  a  mood.  In  this 
picture  Israels  had  found  his  true  self.  Appreciated  and  recog- 
nized, he  married  in  1863  the  daughter  of  an  advocate  in 
Groningen,  and  settled  down,  first  in  Scheveningen  and  then  in 
the  Hague.  And  here  he  became  in  the  course  of  the  last 
generation  the  artist  whom  the  world  has  delighted  to  honour. 
Here  he  has  painted  one  masterpiece  after  the  other,  with  that 
indefatigable  power  of  work  still  peculiar  to  the  veteran  of 
seventy  years  and  upwards. 

Josef  Israels  lives  entirely  according  to  rule.  Every  morning 
at  nine  he  may  be  seen  walking,  and  by  ten  o'clock  punctually  he 
is  at  his  easel.  In  the  Koninginnengracht,  that  quiet,  thoroughly 
Dutch  canal  leading  to  the  Park,  his  house  is  situated.  Little 
red-roofed  houses  are  passed,  houses  standing  out  with  some 
piquancy  against  the  misty  sky,  and  the  canal  is  fringed  by  trees, 
which  cast  a  bright  reflection  on  the  water.  Close  by  may  be 
heard  the  whistle  of  a  steam  tram  which  goes  its  rounds  between 


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HOLLAND  243 

the  Hague  and  Scheveningen.  In  Israels*  house  quietude  prevails 
without  a  sound.  Noble  Gobelins  subdue  the  voice,  and  thick 
carpets  the  footsteps.  Here  and  there  upon  the  walls,  in  a  finely 
outlined  black  frame,  there  hangs  an  etching  by  Rembrandt. 
Everything  has  an  air  of  intimacy,  and  is  kept  in  delicate  and  quiet 
tones;  the  very  thoughts  of  a  man  cannot  fail  to  grow  subtile 
in  the  fine  silence  of  this  home  made  for  an  artist.  Behind  the 
dwelling  there  lies  a  garden  with  a  large  glass  house.  The  man 
who  works  here  is  very  small  in  stature,  and  has  a  high  treble 
voice,  a  puckered  face,  a  white  beard,  and  two  sparkling  black 
eyes  which  flash  out  upon  you  from  behind  a  large  pair  of 
spectacles.  Everything  about  him  has  a  nervous  mobility  like 
quicksilver.  Always  talking  and  gesticulating,  he  fetches  out 
old  pictures  when  a  visitor  comes,  and  looks  at  them  inclining 
his  head  to  the  right  and  then  to  the  left ;  then  he  puts  him- 
self into  the  attitude  of  his  net-menders  or  his  potato-gatherers 
for  the  sake  of  verification,  draws  great  landscapes  in  the  air 
with  his  arms,  sits  down  so  that  he  may  get  up  again  imme- 
diately, searches  for  something  or  other,  and  at  the  same  time 
recalls  a  remark  which  he  has  read  in  the  newspaper.  Even 
when  engaged  in  painting,  he  paces  thoughtfully  between  whiles 
up  and  down  the  studio  with  great,  hasty  strides,  bending 
forward  with  his  hands  clasped  behind  his  back. 

One  part  of  this  studio  is  separated  from  the  rest  by  a  great 
screen,  and  behind  this  screen  one  catches  sight  of  a  very  striking 
picture.  Suddenly  one  stands  in  the  room  of  a  Dutch  fisherman's 
family.  Through  a  window  composed  of  dull  panes  there  falls, 
subdued  by  a  muslin  curtain,  a  grey,  dreamy  light,  which  tones 
the  whole  room  with  mysterious  atmospheric  harmonies.  In  it 
there  stands  an  ordinary  table  of  brown  wood,  a  few  straw- 
bottomed  chairs,  a  bed,  a  cradle,  and  one  of  those  wheel-chairs 
with  the  help  of  which  little  children  attempt  their  first  toddling 
steps.  Everything  melts  in  dim  shadows,  everything  white  passes 
into  grey  and  black.  Familiar  peace  and  lyrical  melancholy  rest 
over  all.  Here  it  is  possible  to  paint  the  air  as  Israels  paints  it 
Here  the  phantoms  of  the  dusk  take  shape  and  misty  forms  grow 
solid.     Here  are  created  those  simple  scenes  from  the  daily  life 


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244  MODERN  PAINTING 

of  the  poor.  Here  sit  those  old  women  with  their  hard  folded 
hands,  their  serviceable  ty^Sy  and  wrinkled,  weather-stained  faces  ; 
here  the  poor  peasant's  child  learns  to  run  in  his  rolling-chair, 
and  here  the  fisher's  family  assemble  round  a  dish  of  smoking 
potatoes.  Few  have  made  such  a  study  of  the  milieu  in  which 
their  figures,  move  as  Israels  has  done ;  few  have  felt  in  the  same 
degree  that  every  object  in  nature,  as  in  life,  has  its  peculiar 
atmosphere  out  of  which  it  cannot  exist  In  his  pictures  the 
subject  and  the  atmosphere  are  in  perfect  harmony.  For  in  reality 
the  existence  of  these  poor  folks  is  passed  in  dim  twilight,  only 
now  and  then  irradiated  by  a  fleeting  sunbeam,  until  it  gradually 
becomes  entirely  dark,  and  death  throws  its  mysterious  shadow 
across  their  life. 

Yet  here  one  makes  the  acquaintance  of  only  one  Israels. 
This  same  melancholy  lyric  poet  is  an  innately  forcible  artist  in 
his  pictures  of  fishermen.  With  what  a  grand  simplicity  did  he 
paint  in  his  "  Toilers  of  the  Sea "  this  grey,  boundless  element 
beneath  a  leaden  sky,  and  these  huge,  weather-beaten  seamen 
with  a  heavy  anchor  upon  their  shoulders,  wading  through  the 
water  and  spattered  by  the  waves  !  And  what  simple  joyousness 
there  is  in  his  pictures  of  children !  Duranty  has  said  finely  of 
one  picture  from  the  master's  hand  that  it  was  painted  with 
"  pain  and  shadow ; "  but  these  others  has  he  painted  with  "  sun 
and  joy."  As  he  tells  of  death  with  its  dark  grey  shadows,  he 
celebrates  young  life  in  all  the  laughing  liberty  of  nature.  His 
fishermen's  children  aire  sound  and  fair,  and  have  rosy  cheeks. 
They  move  beside  the  blithe  fresh  sea,  where  the  tremulous 
waves  heave  with  delight  beneath  the  caressing  sunbeams  and 
beneath  the  blue  sky,  where  the  little  white  clouds  are  passing,, 
as  it  looks  down  in  its  clearness  upon  the  green  luxuriant  fields. 

Amongst  the  modems  Israels  is  one  of  the  greatest  and  most 
powerful  of  painters,  whilst  he  is,  at  the  same  time,  a  profound 
and  tender  poet  Surrounded  by  all  the  deft  painters  of  technique 
and  virtuosity,  he  stands  out  as  an  artist  whose  sentiment  is 
deep  enough  to  make  a  great  impression  without  conjuring  tricks. 
No  one  understands  so  well  how  to  subordinate  the  work  of  the 
brush  to  the  general  mood  of  the  picture.     He  is  a  simple  poetr 


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great  in  rendering  humble  people  and  little  things — an  artist 
who  moves  in  a  narrow  circle,  but  one  who  has  penetrated  his 
material  until  it  has  yielded  to  him  its  most  intimate  emotion — a 
man  who  has  not  passed  through  life  unmoved,  and  has  therefore 
an  entirely  personal  utterance  as  a  painter  also.  Certain  of  his 
etchings  almost  touch  Rembrandt  in  depth  of  sentiment  for 
nature,  classical  simplicity,  and  suggestive  power.  They  reveal 
a  painter  who  observes  the  least  things — a  strip  of  washed  linen, 
the  grass  in  the  sun,  the  pale  yellow  sand  of  the  sea — with  a 
kindling  eye  and  a  well-nigh  religious  fervour.  How  charming 
are  these  little  ones  at  play  with  a  paper  boat  by  the  sea  !  What 
a  mild  and  peaceful  element  the  dangerous  ocean  has  become 
upon  this  morning  !  And  by  what  simple  means  has  the  impres- 
sion of  a  limitless  expanse  been  reached  !  With  a  few  strokes  he 
has  the  secret  of  rendering  the  moist  atmosphere  and  the  tender 
tones  of  the  sky.  Parts  of  the  beach  with  the  sun  shining  over 
them  alternate  with  shadowy  chambers,  the  powerful  outlines 
of  raw-boned  seamen  with  delicately  sketched  fisher-children. 
A  peasant  woman  sits  on  the  seashore  before  the  smooth  waves, 
another  works  in  her  hut,  where  the  dusk  is  drawing  on ;  a  child 
lies  in  the  cradle,  a  quiet,  wrinkled  old  woman,  enveloped  in  the 
soft  twilight,  warms  her  wearied  hands  at  the  stove.  All  these 
plates  are  exceedingly  spirited,  sometimes  lightly  improvized, 
capricious,  and  wayward,  sometimes  polished,  rounded,  and  fully 
worked  out,  but  always  free,  pictorial,  and  having  a  personal 
accent,  and  rendering  gesture  and  expression  with  absolute 
sureness.  Josef  Israels  has  never  made  a  retrograde  step,  has 
never  been  ensnared  by  the  commercial  instinct,  but  has  grown 
greater  continuously ;  and  it  is  due  to  his  power  of  self-criticism 
and  force  of  character  that  he  now  stands  as  the  recognized  head 
of  Dutch  painting. 

In  him  is  embodied  the  strength  of  modem  Holland.  He  has 
been  a  pioneer  not  merely  in  subject,  technique,  and  colour ;  for 
in  many-sidedness  also  there  is  not  one  of  the  younger  genera- 
tion who  can  touch  him.  Each  one  of  them  has  his  own  small 
field  which  he  indefatigably  cultivates.  One  paints  only  girls  by 
the  seashore  ;  another  merely  dim  interiors  ;  this  man  town-scenes 


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246  MODERN  PAINTING 

with  a  misty  sky ;  another  greyish-brown  landscapes  beneath  a 
melancholy  and  rainy  firmament ;  another  the  rich,  luxuriant, 
green,  and  heavy  soil  of  Holland  ;  another  level  banks  with  wind- 
mills and  red-roofed  houses,  detaching  themselves  from  the  dull, 
glimmering  hues  of  monotonous  grey  clouds, — ^but  every  one 
paints  a  fragment  of  Israels. 

That  painter  who  has  such  a  joy  in  colour,  Christoffel  Btssckop, 
in  these  days  also  lives  at  the  Hague  ;  he  is  only  four  years 
younger  than  Israels,  and  he,  too,  laboured  with  power  to  effect 
the  revolution  of  Dutch  painting.  His  teachers  in  Paris  were 
Gleyre  and  Comte,  the  latter  of  whom  has  exerted  a  peculiarly 
strong  influence  upon  him,  little  as  Bisschop  has  followed  him 
in  subject  The  sole  historical  picture  of  his,  contributed  to 
the  exhibition  of  1855,  was  "  Rembrandt  going  to  the  Anatomical 
Lecture."  Born  in  Leuwarden,  in  Friesland,  as  a  painter  he 
settled  in  later  years  in  his  birthplace,  where  so  many  old 
costumes  with  gold  chains,  lace  caps,  and  gay  gowns  falling  in 
heavy  folds  are  still  preserved  in  use ;  and  here  he  became  the 
painter  of  Friesland  as  the  Belgian  Adolf  Dillens  was  that  of 
Zealand.  Those  great  old  painters  of  interiors,  De  Hoogh  and 
Van  der  Meer,  were  his  guides  in  the  matter  of  technique.  Sun- 
light falling  into  an  enclosed  space  could  scarcely  be  painted 
more  luminously  warm.  Like  a  great  column  of  dust  tinged 
with  dim  colours  of  the  rainbow,  it  pours  in  through  the  ground 
window,  falls  full  upon  the  opened  leaf  of  the  folding  door,  upon 
the  boards,  and  the  deep  red  cover  spread  over  the  table  and 
embellished  with  a  large-patterned  border  upon  a  white  ground, 
while  in  this  golden  sunshine  which  floods  the  whole  room  there 
are  usually  seen  to  move  a  couple  of  quiet  and  peaceful  figures. 
A  little  old  woman,  perhaps,  steps  into  the  room  to  beg  the  young 
wife  for  a  crust  of  bread,  or  a  husband  and  wife  sit  of  an  evening 
by  the  cradle  of  their  youngest  child,  or  a  girl  in  a  white  cap 
stands  at  the  window  absorbed  in  a  letter  which  she  has  just 
received  from  her  lover. 

Gerk  Menkes  loved  to  paint  the  mist  upon  canals,  where 
the  trekschuiten  (general  passenger  boats  drawn  by  horses) 
glide    quietly     along     crowded     with     busy     people.       Homely 


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Dutch  family  scenes, 

young  mothers  with 

children       in       dim 

chambers — deep   and 

genial   works   of  the 

finest     tone  —  were 

painted     by     Albert 

Neuhuys,     A  pupil  of 

Israels,    Adolf  Artz, 

delights    in    the 

delicate     bloom      of 

autumn  :    pale    grey 

meadows    with    thin 

grass,     over      which 

there   arches  a  grey, 

pallid  sky,  tremulous 

with  light;  noon-day 

stillness    and     paths 

losing  themselves   in 

the   wide   grey-green 

plains  through  which 

they  wind  lazily  with 

a  long-drawn  curve  ; 

loamy  ditches,  where 

silvery  spotted  thistles 

and  faint  yellow   autumn   flowers  raise  up  their  heads  arid  and 

athirst      Potato-gatherers,   shepherd   girls,   and   children   at   play 

enliven    these    wide,  sad    levels.      Cafi   and   studio    scenes    are 

usually  the  work  of  Pieter  Oyens,  who,  before  his   migration   to 

Amsterdam,    was    a    pupil   of   Portaels    in    Brussels,    where    he 

acquired  a  richer,  more  energetic  and  incisive  style  of  painting 

than  is  usually  to  be  met  with  in  Dutch  art 

Performances  as  fine  and  charming  as  these  figure-pictures 
are  the  Dutch  landscapes.  Here,  likewise,  the  flower  of  Dutch 
painting  is  not  so  luxuriant  and  does  not  catch  the  eye  so  much 
as  that  of  other  nations,  though  it  is  well-nigh  more  tender  and 
fragrant     The  Dutch  have  been  the  cause  of  no  novel  sensations. 


iHan/sttuigt  pnoto. 

Bisschop:   "Sunshine  in  Home  and  Heart." 


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MODERN  PAINTING 


Neuhuys:   "A  Rustic  Interior.*' 


[HanfstdHgl  photo. 


and  troubled  themselves  little  about  those  technical  problems 
which  have  busied  the  more  searching  spirits  amongst  the  French 
Impressionists,  yet  in  discreet  and  delicate  feeling  for  nature 
no  artists  amongst  the  classic  and  contemporary  painters  of 
modern  landscape  have  so  nearly  approached  the  fine  masters 
of  Fontainebleau.  The  atmosphere,  almost  always  charged  with 
moisture,  which  broods  over  the  flat  and  watery  land  in  Holland, 
subdues  and  veils  the  sunlight  softly,  and  gives  succulent  fresh- 
ness to  the  vegetation ;  and  Dutch  painters  have  the  secret  of 
rendering  in  most  refreshing  pictures  all  this  native  landscape, 
which  has  no  charm  for  a  dull  eye,  though  it  is  so  rich  in  the  finest 
magic.  There  a  windmill  is  whirring  on  the  hill,  there  the  cows 
are  pasturing  in  the  meadow,  and  there  the  labourers  go  down  of 
an  evening  to  the  shore  of  the  sea ;  and  the  soft  air  impregnated 
with  damp,  and  the  delicate  bloom  of  silvery  grey  tones  en- 
veloping everything,  produce  of  themselves  "the  great  harmony" 
which  is  so  difficult  of  attainment  in  clear  and  sunny  lands. 


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249 


In  the  first  place 
let  mention  be  made 
of    Jongkindy     that 
fresh     and    healthy 
Dutch  Parisian,  who 
only  became  known 
in  wider  circles  after 
his    death    in    1891. 
Born    in   Latrop   in 
1 819,  Jongkind   left 
his  native  land  early, 
and   was   for    some 
time   in  Dusseldorf, 
and    then   went   for 
•good      to      France, 
where    his    import- 
ance   was    at    once 
recognized  by  some 
of  the  fine  spirits  in 
that    country.       In 
1864  a  critic  of  the 
Figaro  wrote :   "In 
the  matter  of  colour 
there      is      nothing 
more   delicate   to  be   seen   than   the   landscapes  of  Jongkind,  or 
if    there    is    it    must    be    the   delicious    works    of  Corot.      One 
finds   the   same   naYvet^   in   both,   the   same   bright,   pearly   grey 
sky,   the    same    fluid,    silvery   light.      Only    Jongkind    is    some- 
what  more    energetic   and   corporeal,    making  fewer  concessions 
for  the  sake  of  charm.      A  few  energetic  accentuations,  thrown 
in    as    if    by    chance    and    always    in    the    right    place,    give 
his    pictures    an   extraordinary    effect    of  vibration."      Jongkind, 
indeed,  by   his  whole  nature,  belongs  to  the  group  of  Fontaine- 
bleau    artists,   and   it  would   be   impossible    to    write    a    history 
of  French  landscape-painting  without  remembering  the  exquisite 
and    charming    pictures    of    this    Dutchman.       Diaz    interested 
himself   in    him    from    the    first,    and,    without    exercising    any 

VOL.  III.  1 7 


Artz: 


[Hatifsmngl  photo, 
•The  Goatherd." 


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250  MODERN  PAINTING 

positive   influence,   Daubigny    was   very   closely   connected   with 
him. 

Jongkind  is  a  personality  in  himself,  and  followed  the  general 
movement  in  his  own  fashion.  He  delighted  in  water  and  dewy 
morning,  moist  verdure,  and  the  night  sky,  with  a  moon  shining 
with  pallid  rays  and  shadowed  by  silvery  clouds.  What  he  has 
to  give  is  always  a  direct  rendering  of  personal  impres- 
sions. Although  broader  and  more  impressionistic,  he  some- 
times recalls  old  Van  der  Neer,  who  also  felt  the  witchery 
of  the  moon,  and  loved  so  much  to  roam  of  a  night  in  the 
neighbourhood  of  Amsterdam  and  Utrecht  Like  the  old 
Netherlandish  painters,  Jongkind  is  nlost  at  ease  in  regions^ 
connected  with  humanfty.  Houses,  ships,  windmills,  streets,  and 
village  market-places,  and  all  spots  that  have  any  trace  of  human 
U^our,  are  dear  to  him.  In  Paris  he  painted  life  on  the  Pont 
Neqf,  the  houses  on  the  banks  of  the  Seine,  lit  up  by  the  pale 
light  of  the  moon  and  a  thousand  gas-lamps,  the  old  churches- 
find  out-of-the-way  alleys  of  the  Quartier  Latin,  the  barren 
ground  of  suburbs  just  rising  into  existence,  the  activity  of 
crossjng-sweepers  in  the  ^arly  morning.  He  knew,  as  no  other 
man,  the  buried  corners  of  grey  old  Paris,  and  their  population^ 
which  still  has  a  tinge  of  something  like  provinciality.  In 
Norm^ipdy  he  was  charmed  by  the  primitive  character  of  life 
on  the  seaboard.  And  from  Holland,  whither  he  is  often  led 
by  the  force  of  early  reminiscences,  he  brings  back  momentary 
sketches  of  the  canals,  where  the  murky  water  splashes  against 
dark  barges  ;  of  villages  in  mist,  where  the  sun  plays  coyly  upoa 
the  red  roofs ;  of  windmills  upon  green  meadows ;  of  moist 
pastures,  dim  moonrise,  and  fresh  phases  of  morning  such  as 
Goyen  loved.  In  Nivernois,  about  i860,  he  painted  the  faint 
grey  paths  of  sand,  white  cottages  in  the  glare  of  dazzling  light, 
and  the  quiver  of  sunbeams  in  the  dry  leaves  of  the  autuma 
trees ;  and  in  Brussels  and  Toulon  the  narrow  tortuous  lanes,, 
swarming  vividly  with  street-life.  His  technique  is  at  once  broad 
and  delicate,  piquant  and  powerful.  Everything  has  the  throbbing 
life  of  a  sketch. 

Jongkind  was  a  pupil  of  laabey,  and  as  early  as  1852  received 


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2S3 


Mauve  :   •*  A  Flock  of  Sheep." 


[Lathui  ac. 


a  third  medal  in  the  Salon.  But  after  that  his  pictures  were 
rejected  by  the  committees,  and  it  was  only  at  the  Paris 
Exhibition  of  1889  that  he  came  out  in  his  full  importance.  As 
a  rule,  he  still  laid  weight  on  the  construction  of  his  landscapes ; 
from  the  old  Dutch  masters  he  derived  his  pleasure  from  an 
architectonic  building  up,  and  he  took  pains  to  "  compose  *' 
his  pictures,  placing  trees,  ships,  houses,  and  people  in  such  a 
way  as  to  ensure,  as  far  as  possible,  a  rounded  whole.  Never- 
theless he  was  a  modern  through  his  feeling  for  transparent 
air;  he  was  one  of  the  first  to  give  a  serious  study  to 
atmosphere,  to  the  play  of  reflections,  and  to  the  fleeting 
alteration  of  tones.  This  makes  him  an  important  link  between 
the  landscape  of  1830  and  contemporary  Impressionism. 

Both  Jacoi  and  IVillem  Marts  worked  in  Holland  upon 
parallel  lines — Jacob  being  a  very  delicate  artist,  striking  the 
most  notable  chords,  whilst  Willem  is  warmer,  a  thorough  easy- 
going and  phlegmatic  Dutchman.  The  earth  in  the  latter's 
pictures  is  a  plump  nurse  caressed  and  wooed  by  the  sunbeams. 
Best  of  all  he  loves  the  hour  when  the  sky  becomes  blue  once 
more  after  a  storm,  and  the  first  rays  of  the  sun  glance  upon 
the  rich  turf  and  the  rushes  of  the  pond.     Leaves,  boughs,  and 


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MODERN  PAINTING 


trunks  all  glisten 
with  moisture.  The 
wind  shakes  the  last 
raindrops  from  the 
branches,  and  they 
fall,  scattering  the 
earth  with  a  thou- 
sand little  pearls. 
The  grey  moss 
spreads  itself  out 
luxuriantly,  and  is 
once  more  soft,  rich, 
and  verdant.  The 
large  black  snails 
move  upon  the 
ground  rejoicing  in 
the  damp,  and  the 
cows  which  are 
resting  breathe  with 
satisfaction  the 
damp  air  of  the  lush 
meadows  drenched 
with  rain.  Jacob 
MariSy  whose  eye  has  been  educated  by  Daubigny,  is  softer  in 
feeling,  and  more  graceful,  poetic,  and  dreamy.  By  preference 
he  paints  pictures  of  Dutch  canals  in  the  neighbourhood  of 
Amsterdam  and  Rotterdam,  pictures  which  show  great  refinement 
in  their  brownish-grey,  their  breadth  and  clearness  of  vision,  and 
quiet  harmony,  or  else  he  paints  parts  of  the  beach  in  the 
Scheveningen  district,  or  windmills  soaring  like  great  towers 
in  the  foreground  high  above  the  flat  land,  or  little  low  houses 
rising  into  the  dull,  grey,  rainy  air.  The  delicacy  of  modern 
plein-air  painting  is  united  in  his  pictures  with-  the  tender 
softness  of  the  traditional  clare-obscure.  And  often  a  spot  of 
vivid  red  or  dark  violet  has  a  piquant  effect  in  the  ashen-grey 
harmony,  a  thing  which  is  at  once  dim  and  luminous,  soft  and 
precise,  simple  and  subtile. 


lAibert  phoio. 
Mesdag  :   "  Evening." 

{By  permission  of  th*  Berlin  Photographic  Company^  ih« 
owners  of  th4  copyright.) 


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25s 


De  Haas:   "Cows  in  a  Meadow.** 


[Hanfstdngl  photo. 


Mauve^  that  admirable  master  of  harmony  who  is  so  vivid 
and  spontaneous  in  his  water-colours,  has  also  this  tender,  melan- 
choly poetry  of  nature,  this  underlying  mood  of  depth  and  sadness, 
which  renders  him  so  sympathetic  in  the  present  age.  Daubign/s 
simple,  idyllic,  rustic  joy  in  nature  has  in  him  become  tinged 
with  a  sense  of  suffering  which  allies  him  with  Cazin.  A  dreamy 
mist,  a  thoughtful  silence,  rests  over  his  Dutch  landscapes,  and 
the  wind  seems  to  utter  its  complaint  among  the  leaves.  The 
dusk,  and  damp,  rainy  days,  and  all  the  minor  keys  of  nature 
has  he  especially  loved. 

In  H,  W.  Mesdagy  who  paints  the  sea  in  all  moods,  Holland 
possesses  one  of  the  first  marine  painters  of  the  world.  Since 
Courbet,  few  representations  of  the  life  of  the  sea  have  been 
rendered  with  such  fidelity  and  strength  of  impression.  Whereas 
the  Belgians,  Clays  and  Artan,  never  leave  the  shore,  in  Mesdag 
one  beholds  the  sea  from  the  sea  itself  and  not  from  the  land ; 
one  is  really  on  the  water  alone  with  the  ship,  the  sky,  and  the 


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MODERN  PAINTING 


waves.  And  whilst 
the  Belgians  take 
special  joy  in  the 
smiling  ocean,  the 
prismatic  iridescence 
of  sunbeams  upon 
the  quiet  mirror  of 
the  waters,  Mesdag 
chiefly  renders  the 
moment  of  uneasy 
suspense  before  the 
storm.  As  a  rule 
in  his  pictures  the 
sea  lies  heavy  as 
lead  in  a  threaten- 
ing lull ;  only  a  few 
lightly  quivering 
waves  seem  to  be 
preparing  for  the 
battle  that  they  will 
fight  amongst  them- 
selves. Overhead 
stretches  a  grey, 
monotonous,  and 
gloomy  sky,  where 
sometimes,  although  rarely,  the  sun,  glowing  like  the  crater  of 
a  volcano,  may  be  seen  to  stand.  Yet  it  may  be  admitted  that 
a  certain  want  of  flexibility  in  his  nature  is  the  cause  of  his 
repeating  his  most  forcible  note  with  too  much  obstinacy,  and 
at  certain  points  he  is  outmatched  by  others.  For  example, 
the  seascapes  of  Israels  surpass  Mesdag's  in  freshness  of  vision 
and  lightness  of  touch,  those  of  Mauve  have  the  advantage  in 
dreamy  tenderness  of  conception,  and  Jacob  Maris  commands 
the  expression  of  lonely  grandeur  in  a  fashion  which  is 
peculiarly  his  own.  Compare  Mesdag's  seascapes  with  those  of 
his  fellow  Dutch  artists,  and  we  find  the  best  clue  to  the  charac- 
terization of  his  art.     His  power,  like  Bisschop's,  is  essentially  a 


Oelrichs  pho/o.] 
Breitner  :   "  Horse  Artillery  in  the  Downs." 


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C.  H9Hi9chtl  rtpr.^ 


Matthew  Maris:   ''He  is  coming.'* 
{By  ptrmiasion  of  Messrs.  Dowdeswell  <^  DowdeswellSf  th$  owners  oj  the  copyright.) 


[Hole  sc. 


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HOLLAND  259 

material  one — ix.  he  is  a  real  realist.  Israels,  Maris,  Mauve 
paint  things  as  vehicles  interpreting  personal  and  emotional 
moods.  They  try  to  express  sadness,  grandeur,  tenderness ; 
nature's  reality  is  to  them  only  a  means,  not  an  end  in  itself, 
as  it  is  to  Mesdag,  the  broad,  steady-^oing  Dutchman  of  the 
North. 

Speaking  of  him  it  has  been  necessary  to  emphasize  the  dis- 
tinction between  his  realism  and  the  more  spiritual  endowment 
of  others.  Let  this  distinction  be  borne  in  mind  ;  for  though 
Dutch  pictures  would  seem  to  have  a  remarkable  family  re- 
semblance it  is  a  firm  and  sharp  line  of  classification.  True  it 
is  that  all  Dutch  art  of  the  seventies  is  characterized  by  a 
dignity  resulting  from  good  traditions,  a  quiet  mood  of  con- 
templation occasionally  verging  on  narrowness,  a  dark,  warm, 
and  almost  sombre  tone,  singular  taste  and  purity,  and  a  certain 
repose  and  kindliness  of  feeling.  But  for  those  who  enter  deeply 
into  this  intimate  art  it  is  easy  to  draw  a  line  dividing  the  Realists 
from  the  sensitive  Impressionists.  Amongst  the  former  with 
Mesdag  and  Bisschop  we  find  Bisschop*s  pupil  Klinkenbergy 
who  from  his  master  learnt  how  to  paint  sunshine.  The  light 
of  clear  March  days  generally  rests  upon  his  pictures,  brightening 
the  fronts  of  neat  brick  houses,  which  are  reflected  in  the  still 
water  of  canals.  De  Haas  paints  the  Dutch  and  Belgian  lowland 
landscape,  its  cloudy,  dull-blue,  Northern  summer  skies,  and  the 
cattle  or  donkeys  grazing  amongst  the  grass  of  the  dunes.  Then 
there  is  Lodewijk  Apol,  who  delights  in  wintry  woodlands,  where 
the  leafless  boughs  are  covered  with  a  sparkling  mantle  of  snow, 
frozen  waters,  and  whitish-grey  clumps  of  trees  vanishing  softly 
in  the  misty  air.  A  more  subtile  hand  and  eye  are  revealed  in 
the  work  of  Paul  Josef  Gahrtely  the  painter  of  the  polders,  the  flat 
landscape  of  which  assists  the  impression  of  air  and  light  and 
boundless  distance.  All  these  names  belong  to  the  older 
generation.  But  within  the  last  ten  years  a  number  of  younger 
artists  have  sprung  up,  and,  as  might  have  been  anticipated,  more 
novel  tendencies  have  been  displayed.  Some  of  these  men  indeed 
have  merely  advanced  upon  the  old  lines.  There  are  Breitner  and 
Isaac  Israels,  who  have  created,  under   Manet's  influence,  wha 


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26o  MODERN  PAINTING 

might  be  called  the  New  Impressionism,  an  art  more  passionate, 
agitated,  energetic,  and  daring  than  the  old  art  of  intimate  emotion. 
They  abandon  themselves  to  the  full  tide  of  life,  endeavouring 
to  arrest  the  fleeting  revelation  of  a  single  moment.  Their 
technique  also  is  broader  than  that  of  the  elder  men :  form  is 
not  sacrificed  to  intimacy  of  feeling ;  it  seems  almost  swept  away 
in  nervous  energy  of  movement  and  the  massing  of  colour.  Such 
artists  as  these  could  not  but  break  the  subtile  quietude  that  had 
rested  so  long  over  Dutch  art.  They  longed  to  come  to  the 
free  use  of  their  senses  and  their  limbs,  like  the  young  husband 
in  Bjornson*s  comedy  NygiftCy  who  was  mastered  by  an  irresistible 
impulse  to  uplift  his  voice  and  dash  himself  about  lest  he  should 
lose  the  use  of  both  voice  and  limbs  in  the  silent,  antiquated 
mansion  of  his  father-in-law. 

Still  the  younger  school  of  Dutch  painting  had  no  need  to 
struggle  against  academic  art,  and  hardly  the  need  to  fight  for 
their  own  hand  against  the  great  masters  who  had  preceded  them. 
Where  both  the  older  and  the  younger  generation  are  of  genuine 
metal  all  that  the  latter  need  is  the  liberty  to  follow  their  own 
way  when  their  turn  has  come.  And  so  in  Holland  there  was 
no  cry^  raised  against  established  reputations.  On  the  contrary, 
the  younger  artists  of  Holland  have  never  ceased  to  do  honour 
to  such  men  as  Israels,  Maris,  Mauve,  and  Bosboom  ;  and  it  might 
almost  be  urged  that  these  masters  have  never  been  so  well  or 
so  highly  appreciated  as  they  arc  now  by  their  juniors.  Yet 
these  juniors  were  no  followers.  Theirs  was  an  entirely  different 
turn  of  mind  and  genius.  Next  to  the  above-named  Neo-Im- 
pressionists  we  find,  on  the  one  hand,  those  who  were  influenced 
by  the  wave  of  mysticism  sweeping  over  the  world  of  literature 
and  art  at  the  end  of  this  century.  And  on  the  other  we  find 
the  men  of  brain-power  rather  than  of  sentiment,  the  analysts 
and  psychologists,  the  acute  observers  and  distinct  expressionists. 
In  mysticism  it  was  Matthew  Marisy  a  brother  of  the  two  land- 
scape-painters already  mentioned,  who  had  first  of  all  shown  the 
way. 

Both  Jacob  and  Willem  Maris  bore  witness  to  the  invincible 
power  of  Dutch  art  which  made   two  essentially  Dutch  masters 


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HOLLAND 


263 


AmU9rdamm$r.'\ 


Veth:  Josef  Israels. 


[Hentschel  photo  se. 


of  men  who  were  the  sons  of  an  Austrian  father,  but  in  Matthew 
the  hereditary  Teutonic  passion  for  mediaeval  mysticism  broke  out 
again.  Yet  the  influence  of  Holland,  his  father's  adopted  country, 
was  not  wasted  upon  him  :  his  mystical  tendencies  were  controlled 
by  the  faculty  of  observation.  His  early  pictures  have  an  ex- 
ceeding great  charm  of  their  own,  a  direct  simplicity  of  motive 
and  a  poetic  purity  of  expression  both  in  line  and  colour.  His 
Gretchen,  for  example,  is  a  mediaeval  maiden  under  the  spell  of 
a  mystical  love  that  gives  her  a  look  of  fairy  unreality.  Indeed 
she  more  nearly  resembles  the  devoted  Katchen  von  Heilbronn 
of  Heinrich  von  Kleist  than  the  more  robust  heroine  of  Goethe. 
By  degrees  reality  lost  its  grip  on  the  painter,  and  his  visions 
grew  mistier,  gaining  at  the  same  time  in  lonely  grandeur. 
Yet  the  more  he  tries  to  evade  reality  the  stronger  a  certain 
sensuousness  seems  to  hold  him  in  its  grasp.  The  forms  hidden 
under  the  veil  of  his  dreamy  visions  assert  themselves,  rise  and 
grow,  as  if   they  were   to  burst  forth   after  all.      This   wrestle 


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264  MODERN  PAINTING 

between  the  animal  and  the  mystical  life  in  the  painter's  spirit 
to  some  extent  mars  the  unity  of  his  art,  yet  makes  it  appeal 
to  us  with  a  deeper  emotional  force  and  a  grander  imaginative 
power.  The  hermit-painter,  living  near  Lx)ndon  in  utter  solitude> 
is,  after  all,  a  human  being  with  latent  passion. 

Travels  in  the  East  and  the  love  of  mediaeval  legend  have 
quickened  the  same  tendency  to  mystical  contemplation  in 
W.  Bauer,  His  water-colours,  his  lithographs,  and  his  etchings 
are  all  of  them  filled  with  the  vibration  of  very  subtile  emotions, 
expressed  in  the  lithographs  and  etchings  with  a  curious  nervous- 
ness of  intercrossing  fibrous  lines.  In  some  of  his  etchings  again 
there  is  an  amplitude  of  vision,  a  grandeur  of  mass,  and  a  halo 
of  light  which  recall  the  work  of  Rembrandt  in  this  field  of  art. 
fan  Toorop  was  the  first  to  bring  a  tribute  from  the  Dutch  Indies 
to  the  art  of  the  mother-country.  He  worked  his  way  through 
impressionism  and  "  pointellism  "  to  a  mystical  symbolism  which, 
however,  emanates  from  Villiers-de-rislerAdam  and  Odilon  Redon 
rather  than  from  the  Indies.  This  symbolist  art  of  Toorop's  is 
as  remarkable  for  its  high  power  of  expression  and  its  delicacy 
of  handling  as  for  versatility  and  facility  of  imagination.  But, 
after  all,  symbolism,  which  by  sheer  force  of  reaction  against 
the  national  tendency  to  realism  had  at  one  moment  become, 
the  cry  of  the  new  art-movement  in  Holland  and  had  won 
another  true  and  subtile  adept  in  young  Thorn  Prikker,  could  not 
long  hold  its  own  among  a  people  which,  although  sometimes 
approaching  in  its  art  to  the  symbolical  through  simplicity  and 
grandeur,  had  always  derived  it  instinctively  from  reality,  with- 
out-seeking it  in  abstract  forms — the  domain  of  philosophy,  not 
of  art. 

Of  the  other  tendency  in  modern  Dutch  art — to  return  to 
more  directness  of  expression,  and  to  arrive  at  a  greater  intensity 
of  psychological  power  than  the  great  Impressionists  had  aimed 
at — we  find  examples  in  the  portraits  hy  Jan  Veth  and  Haverman, 
They  are  entirely  different  from  such  powerful  creations  as  Josef 
Israels  has  lately  shown  in  this  line.  Those  by  Israels  are  freely 
subjective;  the  painter  will  treat  the  features  and  expression  of 
his  sitter  with  considerable  freedom,  making  the  portrait  speak 


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HOLLAND  265 

of  his  own  moods,  and  giving  it  the  character  with  which  it 
looms  in  his  imagination.  But  these  younger  men  take  great 
pains  to  penetrate  into  the  actual  mind  and  spirit  of  the  person, 
rendering  them  with  the  utmost  directness.  Neither  their  im- 
agination nor  their  sentiment  is  allowed  to  run  away  with 
them,  and  they  aim  at  the  subjection  of  all  their  powers  to  the 
guiding  and  analyzing  brain.  As  a  matter  of  course,  this  attitude 
influences  their  technique  and  makes  it  rigid  and  strict,  until 
they  feel  so  sure  of  their  handling  that  they  can  allow  them- 
selves enough  freedom  to  devote  some  attention  to  charm  of  line 
and  unrestrained  simplicity.  Somewhat  the  same  difference  from 
the  older  school,  although  hardly  so  pronounced,  we  find  in 
the  landscapes  of  Tholen  -and  Karpen,  whose  attitude  towards 
nature  is  indeed  more  reserved,  and  who  aim  at  a  pure  and 
-direct  expression  of  forms  and  atmosphere  rather  than  at  the 
free  impressionism  of  Jacob  Maris.  And  although  too  much 
may  be  made  of  these  distinctions,  yet  they  are  real  enough  to 
show  that  Dutch  art  has  more  variety  than  a  superficial  observer 
might  suppose.  At  the  first  glance  the  pictures  of  modem 
Holland  seem  to  have  one  great  family  resemblance,  as  has 
already  been  noted,  yet  a  constant  current  of  evolution,  often 
influenced  by  movements  abroad,  of  which  Dutch  artists  have 
been  keen  students,  has  been  flowing  forwards ;  and  so  far  from 
stagnating,  Dutch  art  is  now  as  fresh  and  varied  as  in  the  old 
<Iays  of  its  glory. 


-VOL.  111.  18 


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CHAPTER  XL 

DENMARK 

The  kinship  between  Danish  and  Dutch  ^inting.^Previous  history 
of  artistic  efforts  in  Denmark. — Christoph  Vilhelm  Eckersherg 
and  his  importance,— The  Eckersberg  school :  Eorbye,  Bendz,  Sonne, 
Christen  Kdbke^  Roed,  KOchler^  Vilhelm  Mar  strand, — Italy  .and  the 
East:  J,  A.  Krafft^  Constantin  Hansen,  Ernst  Meyer,  Petzholdt, 
Niels  Simonsen, — The  national  movement  of  the  forties  brings 
painting  back  to  native  soil:  influence  of  Hoy  en,  Julius  Exner, 
Frederik  Vermehren^  Christen  Dalsgaard. — T?ieir  intimacy  of  feeling 
in  opposition  to  the  traditional  genre  painting, — The  landscape- 
painters :  Johan  Thomas  Lundbye,  Carlo  Dalgas,  Peter  Christian 
Skovgaardf  Vilhelm  Kyhn,  Gotfred  Rump, — The  marine-painters : 
Emanuel  Larsen,  Frederik  Sorensen,  Anton  Melbye.— Their  import- 
ance and  technical  defects,— Carl  Block  sets  in  the  place  of  this 
awkward  painting  which  had  national  independence  one  which  was 
outwardly  brilliant  but  less  characteristic, — Gertner,  Elisabeth 
Jerichau-Baumann^  Otto  BachCy  Vilhelm  Rosenstand,  Axel  Helsted, 
Christian  Zahrtmann,— After  the  Paris  Exhibition  of  1878  there 
came  into  being  the  young  school  equipped  with  rich  technical  means 
of  expression  and,  at  the  same  time,  taking  up  the  Eckersberg  tradition 
of  intimate  and  delicate  observation :  Peter  S,  JCroyer,  Laurits  Regner 
Tuxen,  August  Jerndorff,  Viggo  Johansen,  Carl  Thomsen,  H,  N, 
Hansen y  Otto  Haslund,  Irminger,  Engelstedy  Lauritz  Ring,  Erik 
Henningsen,  Fritz  Syberg.-^  Painters  of  the  sea  and  fishing :  Michael 
and  Anna  Ancher^  Locher,  Thorolf  Pedersen, — The  landscape- 
painters  :  Viggo  Pedersen,  Philipsen,  Thorwald  Niss,  Zacho,  Gotfred 
Christensen,  Julius  Paulsen,— The  **free  exhibitors  :*^  Joachim  and 
Niels  iikovgaard,  Theodor  Bindesboll,  Agnes  Slott-Mdller,  HarakT 
Slott-Moller,  J  F.  Willumsen,  V,  Hammershoy,  Johan  Rohde^ 
G,  Seligmann^  Karl  Jensen, 

DENMARK  IS  a  new  Holland,  should  any  one  be  pleased 
to  call  it  so,  only  it  is  Holland  with  a  purer  atmosphere 
and  a  clearer  sky,  Holland  less  rich  in  soil  and  less  luxuriant ;. 
it    is    a    country   more    thinly   populated    and    one    where    the 


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DENMARK  267- 

inhabitants  are  more  dreamy.  In  accordance  with  this  likeness 
in  the  character  of  nature,  the  transition  from  the  one  school 
to  the  other  is  almost  imperceptible  in  art  As  painters  of 
interiors  and  landscape,  the  Danes  join  issue  with  the  Dutch 
by  the  touching  delicacy  of  feeling  with  which  they  paint  the 
likeness  of  their  beautiful  country,  its  domestic  life,  its  woodlands^ 
and  its  lakes.  And,  successful  as  they  have  been  in  acquiring 
technique  in  Paris,  they,  too,  avoid  making  experiments  in  pUin 
air  and  in  the  last  results  of  Impressionism.  They  are  almost 
fonder  than  the  Dutch  of  swathing  themselves  in  soft  dusk  and 
floating  haze.  Indeed  what  distinguishes  them  from  the  latter 
is  that  they  have  less  phlegm  and  more  nervous  vibration,  a 
softer  taste  for  elegiac  sadness,  that  tender  breath  of  dreamy 
melancholy  which  is  in  the  old  Danish  ballads.  What  they 
have  to  express  seems  almost  Dutch,  but  it  is  whispered  less 
distinctly  and  with  more  of  mystery,  with  that  dim,  approximative,, 
hazarded  utterance  which  betrays  that  it  is  Danish. 

Do  you  know  the  park  near  Copenhagen,  that  lovely  pleasure- 
ground  where  the  old  Danish  beeches  bend  their  heads  together 
rustling  and  fill  the  air  with  drowsy  fragrance  ?  From  the 
Sound  there  comes  a  faint,  subdued  murmur  which  echoes  low 
and  tremulous  through  the  forest.  Across  the  earth  flit  the 
soft  shadows  of  the  beeches,  and  the  warm  sunlight  plays 
between  them.  Everything  is  gathered  into  a  large,  peacefully 
dreamy  uniformity,  which  has  a  hidden  melancholy.  A  nation 
which  grows  up  amid  such  surroundings  will  become  more 
sensitive  in  its  feelings  and  more  delicate  in  organization  than 
one  which  lives  amongst  mountains  and  rough  crags.  The- 
fragrance  and  ringing  echo  of  this  strange,  soft  nature  render 
the  nerves  finer  and  quicker  in  vibration.  Have  you  read 
Jacobsen?  Can  you  recall  the  figures  of  Niels  Lyhne  and 
Mogens  and  Marie  Grubbe,  filled  as  they  are  with  gentle  and 
dreamy  devotion,  so  unsubstantiaj  that  they  live  half  in  reality 
and  half  dissolve  in  misty  visions,  possessing  so  much  tender 
sentiment — sentiment  which  is  indeed  tender  to  excess — and 
crumbling  away  the  moment  a  rude  hand  draws  them  from  the 
world  in  which   they  live?     Do  you   recollect  the   verses  which- 


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Ji68  MODERN  PAINTING 

Mogens  hums  softly  to  himself,  "  In  Sehnen  kb  ich^  in  Sehnen  "— 
**I  live  in  my  longing,  in  my  longing"? 

The  same  mysterious  fragrance  which  breathes  from  the 
works  of  Jacobsen,  the  dreamy  disposition  to  lose  consciousness 
of  self,  that  melting  away  and  vanishing  in  mist,  suggesting  the 
soft  outlines  of  the  coasts  of  Zealand,  is  likewise  peculiar 
to  Danish  art.  It,  too,  has  something  abashed  in  spirit,  an 
infinite  need  for  what  is  delicate  and  refined,  introspective, 
diffident,  irresolute,  fainting  and  despondent,  youthful  and  in- 
nocent, and  yet  glimmering  with  tears,  a  yearning  that  is  like 
sadness,  a  renunciation  that  finds  vent  in  elegies  that  are  still 
and  keenly  sweet.  It  also  avoids  the  cold,  clear  day,  and  the 
sun,  so  indiscreet  in  its  revelations.  Everything  is  covered  with 
soft,  subdued  light ;  everything  is  silent,  mysterious,  luxuriating 
in  pleasant  and  yet  mournful  reveries.  Melting  landscapes  are 
represented  in  lines  that  vanish  in  mist,  and  with  indecisive 
<lepths  and  low  tones.  Or  there  are  dark  rooms,  where  tea  is 
upon  the  table  and  quiet  people  are  leaning  back  in  their 
chairs.  The  fire  is  burning  in  the  stove  with  a  subdued  and 
pleasant  noise.  On  the  table  stands  the  petroleum  lamp,  shed- 
•ding  a  mild  dim  light  through  the  room.  And  the  blue  smoke 
of  cigars  mingles  with  the  reddish  glow  from  the  fireplace, 
which  casts  a  reflection  upon  the  carpet,  whilst  the  soft  rain 
outside  is  drumming  on  the  window-panes.  And  what  an  old- 
fashioned  grace  the  furniture  has,  the  great  mahogany  tables 
and  little  secritaires  resting  upon  slender  voluted  legsl  It  is 
not  mere  blockish,  indifferent  furniture,  for  it  has  been  in- 
herited and  cared  for,  and  it  is  narrowly  allied  with  the  lives 
-of  men.  With  what  a  genial,  confiding  air  does  it  seem  to 
regard  the  proceedings  when  the  family  are  assembled  at  table, 
when  the  water  boils  and  there  is  a  clatter  of  tea-things !  And 
when  there  is  society,  how  bashfully  it  presses  against  the  wall, 
as  though  it  were  shy  before  company !  On  the  boards  upon 
the  window-sill  old-fashioned  flowers  bloom  in  pots  spotted  with 
green,  and  old-fashioned  family  portraits  hang  upon  the  walls 
with  a  slightly  bourgeois  air  of  complacency. 

Amongst  ourselves,  where   there  is  a  general   inclination  to 


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DENMARK  269. 

regard  distant  regions  as  half-barbaric — merely  because  nothing 
is  known  about  them — people  for  a  long  time  looked  down 
upon  this  modest,  but  essentially  healthy  Danish  painting.  It 
was  only  at  the  last  great  exhibitions  that  the  epoch-making 
appearance  of  the  young  Danish  school  showed  what  a  fresh 
artistic  life  was  stirring  within  the  limits  of  this  little  Northern 
kingdom*  Through  the  works  of  the  young  painters  attention^ 
was  directed  to  their  elders,  for  it  was  not  to  be  assumed  that 
such  blossom  of  art  had  grown  up  in  the  night 

As  is  well  known,  Denmark  is  not  a  site  of  ancient  civiliza- 
tion. Before  the  period  of  Thorwaldsen  every  artistic  tradition 
was  wanting,  and  the  country  was  never  the  stage  of  a  con- 
tinuous and  historically  important  development  of  art.  From 
the  Middle  Ages  it  can  only  point  to  traces  of  feeble  artistic 
activity  in  a  few  Gothic  buildings  which  are  massively  mono- 
tonous. It  was  not  till  late,  in  fact  in  the  beginning  of  the 
seventeenth  century,  that  the  cultivation  of  artistic  interests  was 
pursued  with  greater  animation  under  the  government  of 
Christian  IV.  Christian  V.  (1670 — 1699)  endeavoured  to  catch 
a  few  beams  from  the  sun  of  Louis  XIV.,  and  sent  for  numbers 
of  French  artists  who  enriched  the  country  with  manifold  imita- 
tions of  Lebrun  and  Coustou.  Under  Frederik  V.  (1746 — 1766) 
an  Academy  of  Art  was  founded  at  the  Castle  of  Charlottenborg 
and  organized  according  to  the  French  model  by  the  sculptor 
Saly,  from  Valenciennes.  The  new  quarter  of  the  town  which 
rose  about  this  time  in  Copenhagen — Frederiktown,  as  it  is 
called — gives  in  its  palaces,  and  in  the  equestrian  statue  of 
Frederik  V.  executed  by  Saly,  a  tolerably  complete  picture 
of  the  Danish  Rococo  period,  and  it  was  not  particularly  rich. 
A  generation  later,  Danish  artists,  indeed,  headed  the  school,, 
but  its  tradition  remained  predominantly  French  or  German,, 
and  of  the  Classical  type.  Jens  fuel  distinguished  himself  as 
a  graceful  portrait -painter,  and  the  animal -painter  Gebauer 
executed  little  pictures  in  the  style  of  Esaias  van  der  Velde. 
Through  the  sculptor  Wiedewelt,  Winckelmann's  theories  were 
made  known  in  Copenhagen.  The  painter  Abildgaardy  an 
academician    of    sound    learning   and   many-sided   culture,  found 


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^7o  MODERN  PAINTING 

his  ideals  in  the  Italian  masters  of  the  Renaissance,  especially 
Michael  Angelo.  Amongst  such  men  Asmus  Carstens  and 
Bcrtel  Thorwaldsen,  who  made  such  an  important  contribution 
to  the  artistic  development  of  Europe,  were  destined  to  receive 
their  schooling. 

If  this  first  period  of  Danish  art  was  either  French  or  Classical, 
and  in  any  case  imported  and  without  individuality,  it  must  be 
owned  that  the  national  epoch  of  Danish  painting  was  introduced 
with  Eckersberg,  and  formed  by  a  group  of  men  who  stood  on 
their  own  ground,  representing  only  Danish  life  and  nature  as 
it  is  in  Denmark.  The  consideration  of  their  pictures  affords 
little  aesthetic  pleasure  to  the  eye.  The  execution  in  almost  all 
cases  is  angular  and  diffidently  careful,  the  representation  of  forms 
paltry,  and  the  colour  arid  and  without  anything  luminous.  But 
the  substratum  of  sentiment  makes  atonement  for  the  inadequacy 
of  the  technique.  At  a  period  when  a  spiritless  reproduction  of 
old  ideas  and  old  forms  of  civilization  went  by  the  name  of 
idealism,  the  Danes  were  the  first  independent  naturalists ;  at 
a  time  when  artists  saw  things  almost  exclusively  through  the 
medium  of  literature,  they  proved  themselves,  in  the  special 
sense  of  the  word,  to  be  painters,  and  therefore  they  had  no  need 
afterwards  to  wage  the  great  war  of  liberation  which  had  to  be 
gone  through  in  all  other  places.  They  had  no  need  to  learn 
■gradually  that  nature  may  be  artistically  rendered  without  con- 
ventional composition,  nor  was  there  any  necessity  for  them  to 
be  taught  that  there  was  a  world  better  than  that  of  commonplace 
^enre  humour.  For,  from  the  very  first,  they  plunged  into  reality 
instead  of  treating  it  with  playful  condescension,  and  were  pro- 
tected from  the  inflated  sentimentality  of  the  "village  tale"  by 
having  a  practised  eye  for  what  was  properly  pictorial.  Like 
the  Dutch  of  the  seventeenth  century,  the  Danes  had  worked 
faithfully  to  nature,  and  in  their  deep  and  honourable  devotion 
they  merely  wished  to  paint  nature  itself  according  to  their  own 
true  and  personal  conception  ;  and  whilst  the  falsely  idealistic  or 
narrative  works  of  the  rest  of  the  Continent  vanished,  at  a  later 
time,  from  painting,  these  Danish  works,  which  contained  in 
themselves  fresh   and    natural   germs,    are    not    yet    antiquated, 


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DENMARK  271 

although  they  may  be  old-fashioned  ;  to  some  extent,  indeed, 
and  in  their  essential  conception,  they  may  still  be  said  to  hold 
sway  over  living  Danish  art 

Christoph  Vilhelm  Eckersberg  was,  in  many  ways,  a  remark- 
able artist  In  the  matter  of  technique  he  is  almost  antediluvian  ; 
he  is  old-fashioned  in  his  hard  and  sharp  portraits,  old-fashioned 
in  his  large  historical  pictures,  old-fashioned  in  his  petty  land- 
scapes and  carefully  drawn  and  leaden  sea-pieces.  Nevertheless 
his  pictures  have  remained  more  classical  than  those  of  his 
contemporaries,  who  donned  the  classic  garb  as  if  for  eternity. 
He  has  a  simpler  and  more  familiar  expression  for  the  things  we 
know  ;  he  gives  warmth  by  his  purity  of  feeling :  everything  he 
does  bears  the  impress  of  a  peculiar  sincerity,  as  if  he  went  bail 
in  his  person  for  the  truth  of  what  he  painted. 

Eckersberg  belongs  to  those   modest   but   meritorious  artists 
-who   have  been  little  honoured  in  the  earlier  period,  artists  who 
have  given  something  novel  in  place  of  reminiscences  from  other 
-centuries  and  the  classical  imitation  popular  in  their  time.     He 
had,  like  Carstens,  studied  under  Abildgaard,  and  after  that  he 
£nished  his  course  of  training  under  David  from   1810  to  181 3. 
From  1813  to  1816  he  was  in  Rome,  where  his  friend  Thorwaldsen 
-was,  at  that  time,  high-priest  of  art     And  just  as  he  was  at  pains 
to  follow  the  turbulent  painter  of  the  Revolutiori  in  his  Parisian 
studies,  so  his  pictures  from  Rome,  which  are  to  be  seen  in  the 
Thorwaldsen  Museum,  are  under  the  sway  of  Roman  Classicism. 
But  when   he  returned  home  in   18 16,  and  as  a  man  of  tough 
•energy  undertook  the  guidance  of  Danish  art,  it  was  soon  seen 
where  his   talent  actually  lay.     He  executed   about  this  time  a 
portrait  of  himself  in  which  he  is  painted  looking  into  the  world 
with  honest,  dark-blue  eyes,  a  massive,  sensible,  and  judiciously 
observant  man.     This  likeness  shows  him,  indeed,  both  as  a  man 
and   as  an  artist,   and   supplies  a  curious    commentary  on   the 
tedious  historical  pictures  which  he  composed  in  Paris  and  Rome. 
In   outward  respects  these  same  pictures  are  concerned  with  the 
system  of  ideas  everywhere   in   favour  at  the  period,  and  they 
borrow    their    subjects    from    the    Bible    or    classical    antiquity. 
■"Bacchus  and  Ariadne,"  "The  Spartan  Lads,"  "Ulysses  slaying 


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the  Suitors,"  all  painted  before  1816,  are  amongst  the  most 
jejune  works  produced  at  the  time.  But  compared  with  earlier 
Danish  pictures,  and  compared  with  the  classical  productions  of 
contemporaries,  they  are  true  to  nature.  Eckersberg  supplanted 
the  tall,  flabby,  mannered,  swaying  figures  of  Abildgaard,  with 
their  swollen  muscles  and  generalized  faces,  by  stiff  frames  which 
have  no  flow  of  line,  and  earnest  faces  which  know  nothing  of 
the  Cinquecento  ideal  of  beauty.  There  is  nothing  antique  about 
them  except  the  title,  for  the  basis  of  his  art  was  an  absolutely 
accurate  study  of  the  model.  Even  where  he  arranged  human 
beings  in  tableaux  vivants^  illustrating  a  story  provided  by  ancient 
authors,  direct  study  of  nature  was  the  corrective  he  applied  to  the 
mannerism  of  his  time.  And  this  sound  and  thorough  observation 
of  nature,  however  unattractive  it  might  be  in  technique,  is  yet 
more  characteristic  of  his  landscapes.  Even  in  Rome  this  quiet 
Jutlander  had  produced  a  series  of  little  pictures  sharply  to  be 
distinguished  from  the  classical  views  and  drj'  architectural  pieces 
of  his  contemporaries.  For  it  was  not  the  beauty  of  architecture 
as  such  that  had  any  charm  for  him.  The  backyard  of  a  modem 
Roman  hut  gave  him  as  much  pleasure  as  a  classical  ruin,  and 
a  meadow  in  spring  with  blossoming  flowers  was  as  dear  to  him 
as  the  colonnades  of  St.  Peter's.  Here,  too,  were  colour  and 
the  play  of  light.  His  pictures  owed  their  existence  less  to  an 
antiquarian  than  to  a  pictorial  interest,  which  is  saying  a  goo<} 
deal  considering  their  period. 

And  after  Eckersbei^  returned  home  he  remained  the  same,, 
both  in  his  outward  many-sidedness  and  in  the  essential  principle 
of  his  art.  Biblical  pictures  and  altar-paintings  were  ordered 
from  him,  and  he  painted  "  The  Passage  of  the  Israelites  through 
the  Red  Sea"  in  a  very  sensible  fashion,  and  gave  a  thoroughly 
prosaic  paraphrase  of  Raphael  in  his  "  Madonna  as  Queen  of 
Heaven."  From  the  Court  he  received  a  commission  to  decorate 
the  throne-room  of  the  Castle  of  Christiansborg  with  representa- 
tions from  Danish  history,  and  accomplished  this  task  also  in 
an  honourable  and  conscientious  manner.  Everybody  came  to 
him  to  have  portraits  taken,  and  he  satisfied  everybody  by 
making    an    accurate   likeness.      Over  and    above   this   there   is 


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DENMARK  273 

an  important  class  of  pictures  which  were  not  ordered,  and 
show  the  more  clearly  what  he  was  aiming  at  himself:  scenes 
from  everyday  life,  landscapes  and  seascapes.  He  is  the  first 
who,  in  that  age,  which  limited  its  enthusiasm  to  gods  and 
heroes,  carried  out  the  maxim  that  everything  may  be  painted, 
historical  or  present,  sacred  or  profane.  All  his  life  he  maintained 
his  love  of  light  and  air,  land  and  sea.  Sea-pieces,  which  had 
been  neglected  since  Joseph  Vernet,  were  introduced  by  him  into 
art  once  more.  What  distinguished  him,  indeed,  was  an  extra- 
ordinarily pure,  fine,  and  inwardly  felt  conception  of  what  he 
saw  in  reality  in  the  life  of  men,  upon  land  or  water ;  and 
however  dry  and  prosaic  his  pictures  may  be,  they  are  none 
the  less  sincere,  honest,  and  sound.  He  will  have  nothing  to 
do  with  meaningless  poses  and  empty  phrases.  Honest  and 
thoroughly  deliberate  observation,  combined  with  severe  restraint 
from  everything  merely  dazzling  to  the  eye,  is  of  the  essence 
of  his  art. 

Even  Ihis  colouring  is  in  this  respect  characteristic.  The 
older  painters,  Juel  and  Abildgaard,  strove  to  effect  an  artistic 
harmony.  They  used  cloying  colours  which  soothed  the  eye, 
and  endeavoured  to  give  their  pictures  the  tone  of  the  old 
masters,  or  that  metallic  brilliancy  which  accorded  with  the 
gilded  decorations  of  the  Rococo  period.  And  Eckersberg  had 
also  proceeded  in  this  fashion  in  his  "Bacchus  with  Ariadne." 
But  afterwards  these  soothing  colours,  aiming  at  decorative 
effiect,  vanished  from  his  works.  .  He  then  endeavoured  to 
render  local  colours  as  faithfully  as  possible  ;  if  they  were  also 
brusque  and  harsh,  he  at  least  rescued  objects  from  the  bath 
of  sauce,  from  the  pictorial  tone,  in  which  Abildgaard  had 
steeped  them,  and  he  placed  them  in  the  open  light  of  day. 
In  him  everything  receives  its  healthy,  natural  illumination,  and 
that  is  principally  what  gives  his  pictures  a  plebeian  effect 
beside  those  of  delicate  Rococo  painters.  In  the  proximity  of 
the  portraits  of  Juel,  harmonized  in  a  golden  tone,  the  figures 
of  Eckersberg  in  the  Copenhagen  Gallery  looked  as  if  they  had 
just  washed,  with  such  ingenuousness  and  sincerity  did  he 
place  the  healthy  red  in  the  cheeks  of  his  girls  boldly  against 


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274  MODERN  PAINTING 

the  white  skin.  No  doubt  there  is  a  good*  deal  which  is 
prosaic  and  material  in  this  method  of  creation.  For  the  poetry 
of  colour  he  had  but  little  feeling.  But  when,  after  looking  at 
the  pictures  of  Eckersberg  in  the  Thorwaldsen  Museum,  one's 
gaze  wanders  to  the  "  Sleeping  Girl  *'  of  Rtedel  hanging  opposite, 
there  can  be  no  doubt  that  outward  prettiness  and  sugary 
coquetry  are  on  the  side  of  the  German,  and  health  and  veracity 
on  that  of  the  Dane. 

Every  one  notices  with  facility  that  Eckersberg's  activity  fell 
in  a  time  when  plastic  art  was  set  above  painting,  and  the 
plastic  element  in  pictures  was  specially  accentuated.  This 
draughtsmanlike  treatment,  which  knows  little  of  the  pictorial 
conception,  is  what  chiefly  gives  his  works  their  antiquated  Mr. 
Eckersberg  paints  things  much  as  they  are  in  themselves,  and 
too  little  does  he  paint  the  impression  received  of  them.  His 
observation  is  positive,  solid,  firm,  but  it  is  not  light  enough 
with  what  is  light,  nor  fleeting  enough  with  what  is  fleeting. 
His  strong  point  is  the  rendering  of  objects  with  opaque 
surfaces  in  hard  daylight  when  everything  is  distinctly  visibla 
Dusk  and  clare-obscure,  which  dissolve  the  outlines  of  things, 
are  no  affair  of  his.  Optical  phenomena,  like  rainbows,  have 
a  heavy  and  material  appearance  in  his  works.  What  the 
moderns  leave  to  be  indistinctly  divined  he  paints  substantially 
and  palpably.  He  is  too  careful  of  outline.  What  a  hard  and 
disagreeable  effect  is  made  by  the  contours  in  his  picture  of  the 
interior  of  the  Colosseum !  In  his  effort  to  attain  outline  and 
local  colour  he  even  gives  them  to  objects  which  have  none. 
The  clouds  look  like  masonry;  the  water,  which  in  its  endless 
variety  is  almost  more  wayward  than  the  air,  and  plays,  at  the 
same  time,  in  bluish,  greenish,  and  whitish  tones,  has  only  one 
hard,  monotonous  colour  in  Eckersberg,  and  no  transparency, 
no  brilliancy  nor  glitter.  It  is  only  when  one  overlooks  these 
defects  that  one  can  enjoy  the  incomparable  study  of  the 
movement  of  the  waves,  and  the  admirable  drawing  of  ships; 
one  may  remember,  indeed,  many  more  effective  seascapes,  but 
few  so  satisfactory  in  the  consideration  of  details. 

In    Eckersberg    everything    has   been    quietly,   logically,   and 


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DENMARK 


275 


EcKERSBERG :  The  Nathanson  Family. 


i  i  flt£r  phota. 


deliberately  thought  out  and  seen  before  being  painted  ;  every 
point  stands  where  it  should  ;  he  has  his  perspective  and  anatomy 
at  his  fingers*  ends.  His  sea-pieces,  with  their  little  ships  rocking 
upon  waves  of  porcelain,  are  frigidly  and  aridly  painted,  but  very 
delicately  observed,  and  drawn  with  great  confidence.  And  his 
portraits,  limited  as  they  are  from  the  pictorial  standpoint,  must 
be  reckoned  amongst  the  best  of  their  period  as  regards  sincerity 
in  the  study  of  nature.  In  the  group  of  the  family  of  the 
merchant  Nathanson,  in  the  Copenhagen  Gallery,  he  does  not 
attempt  to  embellish  his  models,  but  attacks  them,  roughly  no 
doubt,  but  straightforwardly.  Certain  of  his  pictures  of  children 
have  a  winning  innocence,  and  some  of  his  portraits  of  women  are 
worthy  of  being  named  beside  those  of  David.  In  particular,  he 
has  painted  with  a  careful  brush  and  much  delicacy  of  feeling  Anne 
Marie  Magnani,  the  friend  of  Thorwaldsen,  and  also  the  master 
himself,  whom  he  revered  as  a  god.  Here  he  has  a  real  touch  of 
greatness  in  spite  of  his  minutely  fine  work  of  detail.  The  head 
and  hands  are  drawn  with  laboured  diffidence,  as  in  all  his  pictures, 


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276 


MODERN  PAINTING 


\X  i 


/: 


ECKERSBERG  :    A   SeASCAPE. 


(.i  Ul^€  /tnu$0» 


and  the  stiff  shirt  painted  with  such  refinement  is  unpictorial. 
But  all  the  more  moving  is  the  infinite,  and  thoroughly  Pre- 
raphaelitish,  devotion  with  which  he  gave  himself  up  to  rendering 
this  head,  the  religious  piety  with  which  he  reproduced  every 
little  hair  and  every  furrow  in  the  face ;  and  by  these  fresh, 
naturalistic  qualities  Eckersberg  has  become  the  ancestor  of 
modern  Danish  art.  Positive  and  realistic,  too  honest  to  make 
a  pretence  of  raising  himself  to  the  level  of  the  great  old  masters 
by  superficial  imitation,  but  all  the  more  zealously  bent  on 
penetrating  the  spirit  of  nature,  and  loving  everything  to  the 
minutest  detail,  weak  in  imagination  but  profound  in  his  feeling 
for  nature — such  was  Eckersberg  himself,  and  such  was  the 
painting  developed  from  the  groundwork  of  his  intuition  of 
nature. 

All  his  pupils — Rorbycy  Kiichler^  Eddelien^  Bendz^  Christen  Kobke, 
Roedy  and  others— were,  like  their  master,  undiluted  naturalists, 
healthy  and   virile,  like  Peter   Hess,   Biirkel,  Franz  Kriiger,  and 


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DENMARK 


^77 


L  Tili^r  phfitii. 


Hermann  Kauflf- 
mann.  Scenes  from 
the  studios  of 
painters,  sculptors, 
and  engravers,  and 
from  the  life  of 
peasants  and 
soldiers,  were  their 
oisual  subjects,  and 
all  their  pictures 
show  that,  under 
the  influence  of  Eck- 
^rsberg,  a  homely 
spirit  of  observation 
had  entered  into 
Danish  artists.  At 
a  time  when  all 
Denmark  was  wild 
over  Oehlenschlager 
and     soft     moonlit 

nights,  they  brought  to  all  their  work  an  entirely  honest  and 
objective  veracity  which  had  no  trace  of  romantic  sentimentality; 
they  never  dreamed  of  beautifying  their  figures,  but  handled 
forms  honestly  as  they  found  them.  Still  less  did  they  feel 
any  temptation  to  treat  life  humorously,  like  the  contemporary 
£enre  painters,  for  they  had  no  higher  aim  than  to  grasp 
seriously  and  with  unfeigned  feeling  what  was  familiar  and 
<iirect  Sonne^  who  is  specially  esteemed  in  Denmark  as  a 
battle-painter,  was  one  of  the  first  to  devote  himself  to  the 
representation  of  the  life  of  the  Danish  people.  He  had  little 
technical  equipment,  but  deep  and  fine  feeling,  and  his  touching 
picture  in  the  National  Gallery,  "The  Sick  at  the  Grave  of 
St  Helen,"  is  one  of  the  most  valuable  works  of  his  generation. 
He  creates  astonishment  by  the  manner  in  which  he  shows 
himself  an  epic  painter  upon  the  grand  scale  in  his  admirable 
sgrafittos — alas!  almost  destroyed  —  upon  the  walls  of  the 
Thorwaldsen  Museum,  where  he   represented   the   return   of  the 


Bbndz  :   "  In  the  Studio." 


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MODERN  PAINTING 


Sonne  :   "  The  Sick  at  the  Grave  of  St.  Helen." 


ITiligt  photo. 


master  to  Copenhagen,  and  his  enthusiastic  reception  by  his 
countrymen.  Eckersberg's  successor  as  teacher  in  the  Academy 
was  Jdrgen  Roed^  and  as  such  he  maintained  Eckersberg's 
traditions ;  he  proved  himself  specially  eminent  as  a  portrait-^ 
painter,  but  has  also  painted,  quite  in  the  manner  of  his  teacher^ 
good  architectural  pictures,  scenes  from  popular  and  ordinary  life,, 
and  several  religious  works.  He  had  Eckersberg's  confident 
draughtsmanship,  and,  like  Eckersberg  too,  he  had  little  imagina- 
tion or  feeling  for  colour,  albeit  his  colours  are  more  discreet  and 
refined. 

It  is  only  Vilhelm  Marstrand  who  occupies  a  peculiar  position. 
Whereas  Eckersberg  looked  at  nature  with  the  quietly  observant 
eye  of  a  painter,  Marstrand  is  a  genre  painter  in  the  full  sense  of 
the  word — the  only  man  in  Denmark  who  had  "  ideas  ; "  and  he 
is  the  Danish  Wilkie  and  Schroedter,  Madou  and  Biard,  in  one. 
His  contemporaries  did  him  honour  as  the  most  spirited  painter^ 
the  most  gifted  master  of  characterization  in  Denmark,  on  the 
score   of  this   "  broad    and    healthy    humour."      And,    strangely 


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DENMARK 


279 


Marstrand:   "Sunday  on  the  SiljaNsee." 


enough,  even  those  who  are  living  now  cannot  shake  this  opinion. 
What  a  strange  thing  humour  is  in  painting!  In  general  it  is 
as  much  discredited  in  these  days  as  the  dramatic  exaggeration 
of  the  historical  picture.  But  as  there  is  always  a  true  distinction 
between  wild  and  genuine  passion  and  histrionic  gesticulation,  so 
true  humour  should  be  distinguished  from  affected.  Delaroche's 
historical  pictures  fail  in  their  effect,  because,  being  of  a  tame 
and  peaceable  spirit,  he  painted  sanguinary  deeds  with  the 
sf^vageness  of  Mieris ;  and  Adolf  Schroedter's  whimsicalities  are 
equally  lukewarm,  because,  being  a  home-made  and  sober  per- 
sonage, he  produced  them  with  an  insipid,  self-complacent  smile. 
The  theme  was  not  in  accordance  with  their  species  of  talent.  But 
Delacroix  sweeps  one  on  with  him  through  the  whole  gamut 
of  the  passions ;  it  is  not  a  deft  stage-manager,  but  a  bold  spirit 
of  flame  that  is  here  displayed.  And  in  his  narrower  field 
Marstrand  has  likewise  remained  fresh.  The  delights  of  colour 
are  not  demanded  from  him  ;  his  whole  art  is  directed  to  the 
observation  of  the  spirit  The  crooked  nose,  the  blotches  of  a 
toper's  face,  the  heavy  gesture  of  a  dissolute  and  brutalized  man^ 
wrinkled  features  and  vulgar  figures,  merely   serve  to   make  the 


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MODERN  FAINTING 


Marstrand:   "Erasmus  Montanus.** 


\jaig9  photo. 


nature,  trade,  mania,  and  habits  the  more  distinctly  salient. 
Here  we  have  not  forms  and  colours,  but  dissipation,  intem- 
perance, brutality,  cunning,  avarice,  hebetude.  It  is  astonishing 
how  he  brings  out  of  every  figure  the  essence  of  its  being ;  the 
realistic  force  with  which  he  sharpens  characteristic  traits  to 
make  a  character-piece  is  amazing.  To  press  more  deeply  into 
the  forge  where  his  spirit  works,  one  passes  from  his  pictures 
to  his  masterly  sketches  with  the  pen,  and  one  pursues  his 
sparkling  point  and  humour  with  still  greater  interest  where 
colour  makes  no  disturbing  effect.  Marstrand  is  never  weari- 
some, for  he  sets  one  tingling  with  eagerness,  and,  as  he  fully 
accomplishes  his  purpose,  his  art  is  justified ;  in  fact  Marstrand 
offers  a  parallel  in  art  to  the  broad  comedy  of  Holberg,  Baggesen's 
graceful  whim,  and  Heiberg's  extravagant  waywardness. 

From  1829,  when  he  exhibited  his  first  pictures,  as  a  pupil 
of  Eckersberg,  he  entered  at  once  uf)on  this  humorously  satirical 
•course.     He  painted  the  people  of  Copenhagen  and  the  Philistine 


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DENMARK 


281 


Marstrand:    "The  Visit." 


{Tiligt  photo. 


class  in  their  domestic  occupations,  or  the  vagaries  of  tavern  life, 
men  shaving  and  making  comical  faces  over  the  process, 
miserable  rejected  suitors,  or  family  parties  with  gay  interludes. 
And  with  his  eye  for  humour  he  saw  matters  which  were  just 
as  droll  in  Italy,  where  he  stayed  for  the  first  time  from  1836 
to  1843.  His  "Festival  of  St  Anthony  in  Rome"  is  a  pyro- 
technical  display  of  wit  and  humour,  and  his  Italian  vintage 
scenes  are  full  of  waggish  fun  and  comical  resource. 

He  was,  therefore,  altogether  in  his  element  when  he  painted 
the  celebrated  pictures  on  Holberg's  comedies  after  his  return^ 
and  these  occupied  him  during  several  years.  Whereas  Lorentzen 
and  Eckersberg  attempted  the  illustration  of  the  Danish  Molifere 
without  much  felicity,  Marstrand  struck  the  popular  tone  quite 
admirably.  In  1844  he  executed  the  "finery  scene*'  from 
Erasmus  Montanus,  the  following  year  the  "  Visit  to  the  Woman 

VOL.  III.  19 


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^8^  MODERN  PAINTING 

Lying-in/'  in  1852  the  "Collegium  Politicum/'  and  in  1859  the^ 
*'  coffee  scene "  from  the  Would-be  Politicians  and  the  ^*  court 
scene"  from  The  Fortunate  Shipwreck.  Marstrand  had,  indeed, 
a  spiritual  affinity  with  Holberg,  and  thus  moved  with  the 
greater  freedom  in  this  field.  His  "  Visit  to  the  Woman  Lying- 
in  "  would  do  honour  to  Hogarth,  with  such  satirical  keenness  are 
the  characters  brought  out  The  illustrations  to  Holberg  drawn, 
not  so  long  since,  by  Hans  Tegner,  and  with  a  spirited  and 
graceful  pen,  have  not  thrown  these  Marstrand  pictures  into  the 
shade.  In  addition  to  Holberg,  Don  Quixote  was  a  constant 
inspiration  to  him,  and  one  should  place  the  tedious  illustrations 
of  Adolf  Schroedter  beside  his  to  see  the  high  flight  of 
Marstrand's  fancy. 

Indeed  Marstrand  was  a  most  various  painter.  His  com- 
prehensive work,  "Sunday  on  the  Siljansee,"  executed  in  1853, 
without  having  any  of  the  "points"  of  genre  painting,  has 
been  kept  more  or  less  in  the  style  of  Teniers'  great  picture 
of  the  fair.  And  in  another  picture,  "  The  Visit."  of  1 857, 
the  satirist  has  become  a  tender,  idyllic  poet  A  peaceful 
atmosphere  of  Sunday  rests  upon  an  old  room  with  solid  furni- 
ture, where  one  perceives  that  throughout  generations  the  same 
family  has  lived  in  easy  prosperity.  It  is  this  very  interior 
alone  which  gives  the  whole  its  homely  Sunday  air.  And  here 
we  have  the  familiar  visage  of  a  young  man  who  is  courting  a 
girl.  A  handsome  naval  officer  has  entered  the  room,  and  laid 
upon  the  table  a  little  bouquet  neatly  tied  up.  The  young  lady 
has  given  him  her  thanks  in  a  subdued  voice,  and  her  aged 
mother  casts  meaning  glances  at  her,  while  an  embarrassing 
pause  has  interrupted  conversation.  Thus  it  is  a  genre  picture, 
though  one  which  has  been  rendered  with  great  charm. 

Meanwhile  he  had  made  repeated  journeys  to  the  South,  to 
Venice  and  Rome,  and  painted,  as  a  result,  a  series  of  life-size 
Italian  pictures  in  the  fashion  of  Riedel:  girls  at  the  doors  of 
inns,  children  playing  with  cats,  hunters  languishing  in  love,  and 
the  like.  His  treatment,  which  was  at  first  ornamental  and 
smooth,  seems  broader  in  these  later  works,  and  aims  more  at 
magnitude ;    the  colouring,  which    was  at   first  cold,  is   warmer 


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DENMARK  283 

and  deeper,  but  at  the  same  time  darker  and  more  suggestive 
.of  sauce.  The  evil  influence  of  these  journeys  was  that  the 
liumourist  of  earlier  days,  in  his  last  period  became  solemn,  and 
painted  Church  pictures.  "  Christ  with  His  Disciples  in  Emmaus  " 
was  executed  in  1856,  and  his  "Feast  of  Christ,"  which  was 
crowded  with  figures,  in  1869:  as  a  piece  of  composition  this 
latter  has  striking  beauty,  but  it  is  of  little  pictorial  value.  The 
best  work  of  his  last  years  is  a  series  of  portraits,  amongst 
which  are  those  of  Madame  Heiberg,  the  painter  Constantin 
Hansen,  and  Professor  Hoyen.  But  here  also  Marstrand's 
strength  does  not  lie  in  the  loving  observation  of  detail,  though 
the  old  satirist  possessed  a  keen  eye  for  soul  and  character,  and 
had  the  secret  of  giving  his  pictures  something  remarkably 
spontaneous,  living,  and  spirited. 

Yet  his  influence  was  a  danger  to  the  further  development 
of  Danish  painting.  His  life  was  divided  between  Italy  and 
Denmark,  and  by  him,  if  for  a  short  time  only,  Danish  painting 
was  alienated  from  the  soil  of  home.  The  rage  for  travelling  to 
Italy  and  the  East  came  into  vogue. 

A  large  Danish  colony  was  active  in  Rome  about  1840,  and 
a  halting  place  was  often  made  in  the  Munich  of  Ludwig  I. 
Here  it  was  that  Bendz  painted  that  fine  picture  of  Finck's  Cafe 
which  may  be  found  in  the  Thorwaldsen  Museum.  Ernst  Meyery 
who  studied  long  under  Cornelius,  threw  himself  with  great 
2cal  into  the  representation  of  Roman  and  Neapolitan  street- 
life.  KiUhler,  who  afterwards  became  a  monk  in  Italy,  painted, 
to  say  nothing  of  representations  of  street-life,  religious  pictures 
— "Joseph  and  his  Brethren,"  and  the  like — Diisseldorfian  in 
-colour,  but  free  from  sentimentalism.  Constantin  Hansen^  in  his 
mythological  frescoes  in  the  entrance  hall  of  the  University  of 
Copenhagen — where  Hilker  painted  the  ornamental  decorations — 
endeavoured,  after  the  example  of  sculptors,  to  introduce  the 
world  of  Northern  gods  into  Danish  painting,  and  he  is  also 
lepresented,  in  the  Copenhagen  Gallery,  by  scenes  from  Naples 
and  prospects  of  Roman  ruins.  The  pictures  of  /.  A,  Krafft^ 
who  was  several  years  senior,  and  of  the  landscape-painter 
Fetzholdty  are  more  or  less  of  a  parallel  to   the   little    Italian 


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a84  •    MODERN  PAINTING 

pictures  of  Biirkel.  Niels  Sintonsen,  the  battle-painter,  made 
a  journey  to  Africa  and  returned  with  pictures  of  the  desert 
And  Rorbye,  also,  set  himself  to  satisfy  the  demand  for  Eastern 
pictures. 

In  his  novel  Only  a  Fiddler  Andersen  has  given  a  delightful 
account  of  the  life  of  Danish  artists  at  that  time  in  Rome, 
their  strenuous  work  and  their  jovial  meetings,  when  the 
"  Pontemolle "  was  celebrated  in  the  Caf6  Greco.  "  The  walls," 
writes  Andersen,  "were  hung  with  crowns,  and  in  the  centre 
a  garland  of  oak-leaves  formed  an  O  and  a  T,  indicating  the 
names  Overbeck  and  Thorwaldsen.  On  the  benches  round 
the  tables  artists  were  seated,  both  old  and  young,  most  of 
them  being  Germans,  with  whom  tavern  life  has  its  origin. 
They  had  all  of  them  moustaches,  beards,  and  whiskers,  and 
certain  of  them  wore  their  hair  in  long  locks.  Some  sat  in  their 
shirt-sleeves,  and  others  in  blouses.  Here  the  famous  old 
Reinhart  was  to  be  seen  in  his  buff  waistcoat,  with  a  red  cap 
on  his  head.  His  dog  was  tied  to  the  leg  of  his  chair,  and 
yelped  lustily  in  company  with  another  dog  close  by.  There 
sat  Koch,  the  Tyrolese,  the  old  artist  with  a  jovial  face.  There 
sat  Overbeck  with  bare  neck  and  long  locks  streaming  over  his 
white  collar,  dressed  like  Raphael."  And  Emil  Hannover  in  his 
subtile  and  thoughtful  book  on  Kobke  justly  points  out  of 
what  importance  Italy  and  intercourse  with  the  Nazarenes  really 
were  for  Danish  artists  at  the  time.  They  learnt  to  accomplish 
with  skill  the  monumental  tasks  set  them  in  Denmark  during 
the  thirties,  and  acquired  a  feeling  for  beauty  of  form  and 
rounded  composition.  But  they  were  drawn  aside  from  the 
sound  course  of  Eckersberg.  What  they  achieved  in  the  way^ 
of  decorative  paintings  rested  purely  upon  study  of  the  old 
masters.  And  Italian  representation  of  popular  life  led  to  the 
same  ethnographical  painting  of  costume,  and  sentimental 
romanticism  in  dealing  with  robbers,  which  flourished  everywhere 
else  at  the  time.  Even  the  German  principles  of  instruction, 
communicated  to  them  by  Ernst  Meyer,  brought  half-measures- 
into  Eckersberg's  naturalism.  A  visit  to  the  Copenhagen  col- 
lection of  engravings  on  copper  proves  that,  during  those  years,. 


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DENMARK  285 

work  was  scarcely  ever  done  after  painted  studies,  but  simply 
from  drawings.  There  was  a  general  "theory  of  colours"— of 
which  Ludwig  Richter  has  also  written  in  his  Lebenserinnerungen 
— and  artists  noted  rapidly  with  a  pencil  upon  the  leaves  of 
sketches  the  colours  which  were  to  be  employed  later.  Many 
lent  such  drawings  to  each  other  to  be  used  for  pictures 
reciprocally.  And  plaster  heads  and  the  ideal  of  beauty  likewise 
exercised  their  influence,  which  was  deadly  to  the  spirit 

It  was  the  great  national  movement  resulting  in  the  democratic 
constitution  and  the  war  with  Germany,  the  period  from  1848 
to  1850,  which  first  threw  Danish  painting  back  upon  its  own 
resources.  This  mood  found  its  earliest  expression  in  the 
writings  of  the  able  historian  of  art  N.  HOyen,  who  fought 
through  a  long  life  with  all  the  power  of  unusual  eloquence  to 
bind  the  practice  of  art  more  narrowly  than  before  with  the 
life  of  the  nation.  A  land  which  had  given  Thorwaldsen  to 
the  world,  he  urged  in  a  lecture  on  March  23rd,  1844,  On  the 
Conditions  for  the  Development  of  a  National  Scandinavian  Art, 
should  not  perish  by  the  imitation  of  alien  methods,  but  ought 
to  have  the  pride  to  secure  for  itself  a  peculiar  position  in 
European  painting.  What,  he  went  on,  was  only  possible  upon  the 
path  indicated  by  Eckersberg,  was  to  portray  what  lived  in  the 
spirit  of  the  people.  The  Danish  artist  had  in  the  first  place 
to  learn  to  feel  at  home  in  his  own  country.  Here  were  the 
tough  roots  of  his  strength.  Only  in  this  way  could  Danish 
art,  like  the  Danish  language  and  poetry,  find  a  peculiar. 
Northern  method  of  expression.  Upon  the  Danish  islands  it 
was  that  painters  should  study  the  people,  not  for  the  sake  of 
bringing  home  pictures  of  costume,  but  to  become  familiar,  on 
all  sides,  with  the  bluff,  serious  life  of  nature,  and  the  rough- 
grained  fisher-folk.  When  they  once  succeeded  in  marking  the 
original  peculiarities  of  race  in  the  people  itself,  and  seizing 
the  character  of  the  inhabitants  of  the  North  in  all  its  in- 
dividuality, it  would,  perhaps,  be  possible  for  a  grand  art,  with 
a  special  seal  of  its  own,  to  be  developed  in  Denmark.  After 
this  lecture  of  Hoyen,  a  new  impulse  is  to  be  noted  in  Danish 
painting  of  landscape  and   popular  life.     Italy  and  Rome  were 


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^ 

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— ; 

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Copenhaggn  :  Stockholm. 1 


Exner:   "The  Little  Convalescent." 

no  longer  a  meeting-place  for  artists.  The  generation  of  painters 
which  had  grown  up  amid  the  ideas  of  freedom  and  nationality 
which  shook  the  country  before  the  war  of  1848  had  no  higher 
ambition  than  to  depict  Danish  life,  and  that  no  longer  in  a 
mocking  fashion  like  Marstrand,  but  with  cordiality  and  devotion. 

Neither  Vermehren,  nor  Dalsgaard,  nor  Exner,  know  anything 
of  the  forced  humour  of  genrCy  which  existed  at  that  time  upon 
the  Continent.  Nor  do  they  take  pains  to  instruct  an  international 
public  as  to  customs  and  usages  in  Denmark.  They  painted 
simply  what  had  for  them  pictorial  attraction,  and,  despite  their 
angular  and  detailed  treatment,  and  their  monotonous  style,  so- 
void  of  charm,  they,  in  this  way,  make  some  approach  to  the 
quiet  poetry  which  is  delightful  in  the  old  Dutch  masters. 

The  least  refined  of  the  trio  \s  Julius  Exner ^  and  he  often  comes 
perilously  near  the  line  where  what  is  child-like  becomes  childish 
and  what  is  sweet  becomes  sugary.  Generally  speaking  Exner 
revolves  in  a  prescribed  circle  of  subjects :  old  men  in  night-caps 
sealing  letters  by  candle-light,  village  inns  where  there  is  dancing 


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'  •      DENMARK, .  iSt 

and  people  are  drinking  punch,  fish- women  with  a  red  kercKief 
before  a  cup  of  coffee,  lads  and  lasses  telling  each  other's  fortunes 
by  cards,  children  going  to  see  their  grandfather  on  Sunday,  old 
men  offering  little  girls  flowers  to  smell,  little  cousins  playing  with 
a  baby  who  has  just  been  christened,  young  peasant  mothers 
putting  their  children  to  bed,  musicians  playing  at  a  wedding, 
baptisms,  blind-man's-buff,  and  children  sharing  their  breakfast 
with  cats  and  ravens  or  watching  their  father  puffing  clouds  of 
smoke  for  their  edification.  In  him  preponderates  the  ethno- 
graphical element — old-world  chambers  and  gaudy  national 
costumes  which  have  held  their  ground  upon  the  islands  of 
Amager  and  Fano.  The  figures  are  sometimes  life-size,  which 
makes  the  vulgar  colouring  all  the  more  obvious,  and  the  faces 
are  often  contorted  like  masks.  Nevertheless  several  of  his 
earlier  pictures  of  children  are  not  yet  antiquated.  They  have 
something  of  the  homely  simplicity  of  Ludwig  Richter.  In  an 
age  when  German  painters  merely  turned  children  to  account  for 
comic  situations,  or  showed  off  their  precocious  humour,  Exner 
portrayed  the  inward  life  of  little  people  without  mawkishness  or 
deliberate  comicality.  His  rosy-cheeked  girls  are  all  scrubbed 
and  combed  and  prettily  dressed  up,  yet  they  are  far  more  human 
than  the  little  angels  of  Meyer  of  Bremen.  Even  in  the  simple' 
picture  of  the  little  convalescent  receiving  a  visit  from  her  friends 
every  species  of  cheap  humour  has  been  avoided.  The  girl  has 
the  sense  of  having  gone  through  something  serious ;  and  seriously 
and  with  diffidence  do  the  others  advance  towards  her. 

In  Frederik  Vert^ehren  Danish  reality  becomes  something 
almost  arid.  His  pictures  have  no  substratum  of  genre  that  can 
be  set  down  in  so  many  words.  An  old  man  who  delivers  bread 
for  a  baker  at  distant  farms,  tired  with  walking  in  the  noonday 
sun  which  broods  over  the  heath,  has  sat  down  upon  a  milestone, 
and  is  looking  mildly  and  vacantly  before  him.  In  the  poor  and 
wretched  heath  tract  of  Jutland  a  shepherd  is  standing,  a  strange 
figure,  the  living  product  of  this  rude  soil,  one  accustomed  to  live 
with  no  other  companions  than  his  lonely  thoughts,  his  sheep, 
and  his  dog.  He  neither  whistles  nor. does  anything  funny,  as 
he  certainly  must  have  done  in  German  genre  pictures.      As  a 


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Vermehren :   " A  Farmyard/ 


[Tiltgt  photo. 


matter  of  fact  he  is  knitting  socks.  A  strange  air  of  sadness  is 
in  his  gaze.  It  is  as  if  he  himself  felt  the  contrast  between  the 
boundless  horizon  and  the  limited  ideas  of  his  own  brain,  which 
rise  no  higher  than  the  stunted  bushes  of  the  heath.  Or  else 
there  is  the  strand  of  the  fishing  village  of  Hellebaek  on  a  bright 
summer  evening  without  a  breath  of  wind.  Ships  pass  far  out 
upon  the  smooth,  glassy  sea.  And  a  pair  of  children  are  playing 
by  the  water's  edge,  and  an  old  fisher  sits  upon  a  stone  with  a 
great  basket  of  muscles.  He  is  doing  nothing  interesting,  and 
contents  himself  with  quietly  breathing  the  pure  salt  air  and 
gazing  without  a  thought  in  his  mind  upon  the  sea.  Or,  again, 
there  is  a  poor  peasant's  room  with  a  cosy  old  tiled  stove.  Warm 
light  streams  in  through  the  open  door  and  mingles  with  the 
dull  atmosphere  of  the  chamber.  Everything  is  quite  still  inside. 
Upon  a  bench  by  the  stove  a  little  old  woman  is  sitting,  shelling 
peas^  while  a  girl  of  ten  years  old  is  at  her  feet  entirely  occupied 
with  her  book.     Each  of  them  has  her  own  ideas.     The  little  one 


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DENMARK 


289 


is  reading  in  Bible  history  about 
Abraham  and  Joseph,  while  the 
old  woman  sits  in  quiet  com- 
merce with  far-off  memories. 
And  time  goes  by  unmarked 
by  them  both.  Or  there  are 
a  pair  of  poor  orphan  children, 
the  girl  with  a  large  canvas 
wallet  and  the  boy  with  an  old 
basket :  they  are  going  on  their 
usual  morning  round,  begging 
alms,  and  have  just  entered  a 
peasant's  kitchen ;  the  carefully 
burnished  pots  and  pans  giving 
no  evidence  of  prosperity,  but 
much  of  cleanliness  and  the 
sense  for  order.  A  German 
genre  painter  would  have  set 
the  housewife  and  the  children 
into  some  relation  with  the 
public.  In  bestowing  a  piece 
of  bread-and-butter  the  woman 
would  have  assuredly  said  to 
the  spectator,  "  See  what  a  good 
heart  I  have."  The  children 
in  receiving  it  would  have  said, 
'*See  how  ashamed  we  feel  to 
be  begging."  In  Vermehren  the  old  woman  has  cut  the  hunch 
of  bread  without  any  sentimentality  simply  because  it  is 
customary,  and  the  childi'en  take  it  quite  as  quietly  and  without 
affected  gratitude.  They  are  accustomed  to  waiting  and  begging. 
Even  when  cavalry  soldiers  are  burnishing  their  sabres,  they  are 
altogether  quiet  and  serious  about  it  in  Vermehren,  and  do  not 
indulge  in  laughter,  song,  or  humorous  behaviour. 

Christen  Dcdsgaard  is  far  more  important  than  either,  and 
fascinates  the  beholder  by  the  fine  manner  in  which  he  analyzes 
the   inward  life  of  men  and  women^not  so   much   the  obvious 


Coptnhagtn:  :^tocAhoim.j 
Vermehren:   *'The  Shepherd  on  the 
Heath." 


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external  emotions 
of  joy  and  sor- 
row, as  the  more 
refined  shades  of 
reflection,  consi- 
deration, quietude, 
deliberate  thought 
Like  Vermehren, 
he  paints  exclu- 
sively the  peasants 
of  his  home,  and, 
being  a  peasant's 
son  himself,  he 
does  so  simply, 
and  from  the 
standpoint  of  the 
peasant.  Women 
mending  nets,  the 
workshop  of  a  vil- 
lage carpenter,  an 
old  fisher  jesting 
with  girls,  the  gunner  on  furlough,  the  shepherd  distrained  for 
rent,  and  the  churching  of  a  young  wife  are  the  subjects  of 
pictures  which  represent  him  in  the  Copenhagen  Gallery — ^works 
of  simple  cordiality  and  fine  psychological  depth. 

In  characterization  Dalsgaard  is  the  very  opposite  of 
Knaus,  discreetly  indicating  what  the  latter  would  obtrusively 
mark  in  italics.  This  delicate  pictorial  observation,  which 
preserves  him  from  all  false  ingenuity,  and  from  narrative  and 
humorous  tendency,  renders  him  congenial  even  in  these  days. 
His  pictures  are  not  produced  through  any  stitching  together  of 
separate  pictorial  notes,  but  through  an  inward  unity  of  the 
whole.  Nor  does  he  seek  those  catastrophes  and  complications 
without  which,  in  the  days  of  historical  painting,  the  picture  of 
manners  could  not  exist  in  other  countries ;  on  the  contrary,  he 
has  a  preference  for  quiet  life  in  nature  and  in  the  world  of  men. 
Just  as  he  delights  in  the  serene  and  peaceful  sky,  so  does  he  takfe 


Vermehren:  "The  Peasant's  Cottage,'* 


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DENMARK 


«9^i 


delight  in  the  life 
of  men  in  its  repose, 
and  shows  this  in 
his  pictures  as  in  a 
clear  mirror.  There 
are  no  hasty  move- 
ments, and  none 
of  that  transitory 
play  of  countenance 
which  is  so  often 
forced.  The  lyrical 
character  and  the 
charm  of  tempera- 
ment in  his  pictures 
rise  from  the  depth 
and  earnestness  with 
which  he  loses  him- 
self in  the  quiet 
poetry  of  ordinary 
life.  Thanks  to  the 
seclusion  •  of  their 
country,  the  Danes- 
were  not  tempted  to 

prepare  their  works  for  the  picture  market  Thus  they  avoid  the 
painting  of  anecdote,  all  significant  moments,  and  the  celebration 
of  interesting  festivities.  They  depict  the  silent  life  of  customary 
behaviour,  and,  even  here,  only  the  subdued  and  more  reserved 
feelings :  they  have  no  care  for  agitated  action,  no  dramatic  inter- 
play of  characters ;  but  merely  the  life  of  every  day,  in  its  con- 
sistent, regular  course,  the  poetry  of  habitual  existence.  Nothing 
extraordinary  is  represented  in  their  pictures,  and  having  no 
desire  to  seem  ingenious  they  do  not  go  to  pieces  on  the  danger- 
ous reef  of  triviality.  In  an  age  when  the  genre  painters  of  the 
Continent  placed  models  in  costume  in  some  arbitrary  situation 
and  against  some  arbitrary  background,  and  there  set  them  acting 
in  a  little  theatre  for  marionnettes,  the  essential  principle  of  art 
in  Denmark  was  *^fnettre  Fhomme  vrai  dans  son  milieu  vraiJ* 


[Tillgt  photo, 
Verhehren:  "Visiting  the  Sick." 


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MODERN  PAINTING 


The  landscape- 
painters  went  hand- 
in-hand  with  these 
painters  of  peasants. 
It  was  precisely  here 
that  Eckersberg's 
strict  observation 
of  nature,  although 
he  neither  painted 
many  nor  great 
landscapes,  created 
a  firm  basis.  Once 
when  a  pupil  laid 
before  him  a  picture 
"  of  his  own  compo- 
sition "  for  criticism, 
Eckersberg  said  to 
him :  **  My  good 
pupils  always  wish 
to  do  better  than 
God  Almighty  ;  they  ought  to  be  glad  if  they  could  only  do  as 
well.'*  These  words  were  not  forgotten  by  his  successors.  True, 
the  older  Danish  landscapes  were  called  "  Boredom  painted  gjreen 
on  green"  by  a  German  critic  in  1871.  But  since  we  have  ad- 
vanced so  far  as  to  be  out  of  charity  with  the  forced  sentiment 
of  the  German  "  pictures  of  mood  "  of  that  period,  the  temperate 
charm  of  these  Danish  works  finds  a  more  responsive  eye.  This 
painting  of  landscape  is  not  the  result  of  any  backward  glance 
cast  upon  that  of  the  past  nor  of  any  side-glance  upon  that  of 
contemporaries.  In  an  epoch  when  only  the  clamorous  splendours 
of  nature  in  alien  parts  were  elsewhere  held  worthy  of  pictorial 
representation,  the  Danes  buried  themselves  with  tender  devotion 
in  the  peculiar  character  of  their  island  country ;  they  have 
not  wearied  of  faithfully  portraying  its  heaths  and  forests,  its 
level  regions  along  the  coast,  and  its  grass-green  beech-woods. 
Everywhere  a  discreet  homeliness  and  an  absence  of  painting 
for    effect    is    the    rule.      The    delicate    intimacy  of  nature   in 


\Tillgt  photo. 
Dalsgaard:  ''Children  on  the  Doorstep." 


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DENMARK 


«93 


Denmark  has  the 
purely  original  fresh- 
ness of  something 
newly  discovered. 

Christen  KobkCy 
who  died  young, 
one  of  the  most 
talented  pupils  of 
Eckersberg,  and  an 
admirable  portrait- 
painter  beside, 
painted  the  poor 
and  still  growing 
tracts  environing 
the  great  town — 
strips  from  those 
districts  which  are 
almost  as  much 
town  as  country, 
those  smooth,  placid 
regions,  so  melan- 
choly in  their  poverty,  which  were  brought  into  art  at  a  far  later 
date  in  France  and  Germany. 

An  excellent  painter  of  animals  and  a  powerful  and  attractive 
master  was  Johann  Thomas  Lundbye,  who  set  his  models  straight 
in  front  of  him  and  transferred  them  to  canvas  with  a  thoroughly 
Northern  keenness  of  eye.  His  pictures — cowsheds,  grazing 
cattle,  and  forest  landscapes — are  perhaps  wanting,  like  all  of 
their  period,  in  the  features  of  greatness,  but  they  rarely  fail 
in  charm.  Lundbye  observed  the  somnolent  temperament  of 
cows  with  remarkable  energy  before  Troyon,  and  without  seeking 
droll  and  entertaining  points  like  Landseer.  As  a  landscape- 
painter  he  has,  at  times,  bright  tender  notes,  skies  of  fine 
silvery  blue,  which  evince  an  exceedingly  delicate  eye  for  colour. 
And  his  pen-and-ink  drawings  and  clear,  spirited  water-colours 
are  entirely  charming,  almost  French  in  their  grace,  and  of  a  bold 
simplicity ;  and  the  simpler  the  medium  the  more  eloquent  he  is. 


Copenhagen  :  Stockholm.] 

Dalsgaard  :  **  Waiting." 


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MODERN  PAINTING 


LUNDBYE  :    *'  Cows   IN   A    MeADOW.'* 


ITUt^  photo. 


But  Lundbye  did  not  quite  live  through  one  human  generation, 
for  he  perished  as  a  volunteer  in  the  war  of  1848,  which  also 
robbed  Denmark  of  another  gifted  painter  of  animals  in  Carlo 
Dalgas.  Yet  a  number  of  others,  who  were  accorded  a  longer 
period  for  their  labours,  followed  him  upon  his  course. 

The  gifted  interpreter  of  the  beauty  of  Danish  beech-woods, 
Peter  Christian  Skovgaard^  was  the  son  of  a  peasant  belonging 
to  the  north  coast  of  Zealand.  His  mother  travelled  every 
year  with  the  children  to  her  parents  in  Copenhagen  y  and 
the  lad  was  driven  in  a  tilt-cart  along  the  Kattegut  by  the 
steel-blue  sea,  and  through  the  luxuriant  forests  of  Frederiksborg. 
Here  the  austere  grandeur  of  Northern  landscape  was  revealed 
to  him.  The  long  bridge  in  Copenhagen  with  its  old  toll-house 
in  moonlight  was  the  subject  of  the  first  small  picture  which 
he  sent  to  the  exhibition  of  the  Copenhagen  Academy  in  1836 ; 
and  it  is  the  only  moonlight  picture  which  exists  by  him. 
All  lyrical  vagueness  indeed  was  foreign  to  him ;  he  was  a 
portrait-painter,    precise,    analytical,   and    severe,   one    who  saw 


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295 


Copnthagm  :  Stockholm. "l 

Skovgaard  :  "  Sunday  Morning  at  the  Thiergarten.'* 

what  was  distant  with  a  keen  eye,  and  saw  it  as  distinctly  as 
what  was  near.  His  pervasive  characteristic  is^  absohite  reality 
and  plainness;  his.  favourite  light  was  the  cold,  pale  d^y,  the 
sober  blue  of  the  Northern  sky.  His  earliest  picture— one  of 
1839— which  represents  him  in  the  gallery  of  Christiansboi^,  is 
"A  Part  of  the  Tidsvilder  Forest."  From  the  high  hills,  over- 
grown with  brushwood,  where  a  family  of  foxes  are  lurking 
in  front,  there  is  a  wide  prospect  of  the  sea,  above  which 
arches  a  clear,  silver-grey  sky ;  gravel  paths  lead  through  the 
wood,  and  the  grass  is  mown.  At  a  period  when  the  German 
Romanticists  regarded  "civilized  nature"  as  wanting  in  beauty, 
and  only  felt  at  home  in  mediaeval  landscapes,  Skovgaard  painted 
without  a  moment's  reflection  Danish  scenes  as  they  were 
in  the  neighbourhood,  with  their  cultivation,  their  canals  and 
paths.  Sometimes  these  are  parts  of  the  strand,  sometimes 
woodland  clearings  from  the  southern  point  of  Zealand ;  every- 


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MODERN  PAINTING 


Cop4nhagtus  UtockholmJ] 


Kyhn  :  Landscape. 


where  there  was  the  clear  grey  sky  and  the  fresh  sea  air 
which  he  loved.  After  1847  he  settled  himself  in  the  park 
at  Copenhagen,  and  no  one  has  explored  its  secrets  with  the 
same  zeaL  The  pleasant  clearings  in  the  forest,  with  roes, 
fallow-deer,  and  storks,  the  still  sheets  of  water  amid  young 
verdant  wood,  the  little  leaves  of  which,  glancing  in  the  sun, 
cast  greenish  reflections  of  themselves  in  the  water — these  have 
been  felt  with  much  subtilty  and  intimacy.  With  his  steel- 
coloured  tones  and  his  cold,  clear  air,  Skovgaard,  who  seems 
such  a  sober  master,  and  so  fond  of  the  broad  daylight,  has 
the  secret  of  creating  effects  which  are  altogether  seductive. 

Vilhelm  Kyhn,  who  is  still  living,  and  appears  to  grow 
better  and  more  young  and  vigorous  with  years,  is  the  poet 
amongst  these  Danes— a  man  of  virile  artistic  nature,  of  great 
truthfulness,  and,  at  the  same  time,  of  rich  and  deep  inward 
feeling,  one  who  sees  in  nature  the  mirror  of  his  own  restless 
spirit  He  has  a  sentiment  for  wide  plains  and  great  lines,  for 
nature's  austere  and  earnest  rhythm  of  form.  The  poetry  of 
his  pictures  has  kinship  with  the  old  Danish  ballads :  their 
technique  is  rough  and  angular,  their  mood  serious  and 
melancholy.       Great    thunderclouds     roll     over    endless     plains 


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DENMARK 


297 


Copenhagen:  Stoekholm.l 


Rump:  A  Spring  Landscape. 


overgrown  with  low  brushwood.  Or  a  fresh  breeze  blows  the 
light  clouds  swiftly  over  the  blue  sky.  The  air  rises  clear  and 
high  over  the  forest  trees,  and  allows  the  eye  to  range  over 
bright .  distances,  bounded  by  hills. 

Spring  is  what  attracts  Got/red  Rump,  those  clear  March 
days  when  the  snow  melts  on  the  fields,  and  a  fresh,  fine, 
yellowish  verdure  breaks  forth.  The  Copenhagen  Gallery 
possesses  a  spring  landscape  by  him  of  the  park  of  Frederiks- 
borg,  which  makes  an  exceedingly  delicate  and  intimate  effect 
in  its  intense  bright  green  tones,  in  spite  of  the  want  of  air. 
Other  masters  command  more  forcible  tones,  higher  imaginative 
power,  and  more  dramatic  chords,  but  few  had  such  moving 
tenderness,  such  sincerity,  such  simplicity,  such  freshness. 

At  the  same  time  Anton  Melbye,  Emanuel  Larsen,  and 
Frederik  Sorensen  appeared  with  their  sea-pieces,  in  which  they 
•depicted  for  the  expert  merchant  circles  of  Copenhagen  the  sea, 
and  did  this  with  an  unsurpassable  technical  knowledge  of 
3hips,  navigation,  waves,  and  wind.  Melbye  especially  is  one 
VOL.  iiL  20 


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MODERN  PAINTING 


Coptnhagtn  :  Stockholm.^ 


Melbye:  "The  Lighthouse." 


of  the  most  admirable  sea-painters  of  all  times  ;  even  during 
his  life  he  was  highly  esteemed  in  foreign  countries,  and  his 
pictures  are  most  readily  to  be  found  in  Hamburg  and  St. 
Petersburg.  He  had  a  more  masculine  temperament  than  other 
Danish  painters,  and  has  often  portrayed  the  powerful  dramas 
of  the  sea  with  magnificent  force  of  conception. 

The  old  Danish  painting  is  healthy  nutriment,  a  painting 
strong  in  substance.  It  is  striking  in  all  productions  by  its 
loving  and  sympathetic  understanding  for  nature,  and  by  giving 
that  sense  of  the  artist  having  lost  himself  in  a  little  world,  a 
thing  which  also  gives  its  imperishable  charm  to  old  Dutch 
painting.  And  so,  at  a  later  time,  when,  after  the  victory  over 
stereotyped  Classicism,  over  the  exaggeration  of  historical 
painting,  over  middle-class  genre  humour,  and  over  the  loud 
effects  of  illustrative  landscape-painting,  delicacy  and  the 
poetry  of  nature,  truth  and  sincerity,  healthy  feeling  and 
simplicity  forced  their  way  everywhere  into  European  art  once 
more,  the  Danes  had  nothing  to  learn  over  again,  as  was  the 
case  with  most  other  nations. 


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DENMARK  299 

But  if  they  had  nothing  to  learn  over  again  they  had  to 
make  very  great  additions  to  their  knowledge  in  the  matter  of 
technique. 

Since  all  these  painters  had  been  practically  thrown  upon 
their  own  resources,  their  technique  was  always  crude  and  la- 
boriously childish.  There  is,  in  all  their  pictures,  a  circumspect, 
diffident  manner  of  seeing  nature,  while  the  painting  is  frequently 
suggestive  of  an  oil  print,  and  thin  and  arid  ;  the  intimate  warmth 
of  their  feeling  suffers  under  the  smooth  varnish  of  the  treat- 
ment And  any  removal  of  these  defects  seemed  all  the  less 
possible  since  a  diffident  system  of  isolation  predominated  down 
to  the  sixties.  Dreading  alien  influences,  artists  were  deter- 
mined to  be  thrown  upon  their  own  resources,  and  cherished 
the  childish  fancy  that  Denmark  was  the  whole  world.  So  the 
great  movement  which  was  then  accomplished  in  France  did 
not  penetrate  at  all  into  this  quiet  corner  of  the  earth ;  nothing 
'was  known  of  the  delicate  and  veiled  harmonies  of  Corot,  nor 
of  the  powerful  solidity  of  Courbet.  Hoyen  desired  an  art 
drawing  inspiration  from  the  soil  of  home,  and  in  this  he  was 
not  wrong ;  only  he  forgot  that  technical  improvements — like 
all  newly  discovered  truths — belong  to  the  whole  world,  and 
that  the  most  various  matters  may  be  expressed  by  the  same 
method.  The  consequence  of  this  Wall  of  China  was,  that 
Denmark,  in  the  sixties,  had  at  its  disposal  merely  a  backward 
technique  which  had  stiffened  in  old  forms,  one  which  had 
grown  stale  by  resisting  renovation.  In  reference  to  the  World 
Exhibition  of  1867,  it  was  said  in  the  Gazette  des  Beaux- Arts : 
"Amongst  all  the  rooms  of  the  Champs  de  Mars  the  little 
Danish  room  is  certainly  the  coldest  and  most  melancholy.*' 
Julius  Lange  had  written  the  introduction  to  the  Danish  cata- 
logue, in  which  he  expatiated  eloquently  upon  the  national 
principles  of  the  Danish  school.  But  the  critic  of  the  Gazette 
made  a  remark  upon  it  which  was  quite  as  much  to  the  point. 
"  This  is  all  very  fine,"  said  the  critic.  "  Mais  il  ne  suffit  pas 
que  la  peinture  soit  nationale^  ni  mime  qu'elle  soit  vraie ;  il  faut 
aussi  qu'elle  soit  artiste''  Contact  with  other  countries,  which 
from    this    time    became    more    frequent,    gradually    induced    a 


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300  MODERN  PAINTING 

change.  The  Danes  began  to  grow  ashamed  of  their  older 
and  childishly  awkward  colouring,  and  they  set  themselves  from 
the  close  of  the  sixties  to  learn  to  paint. 

At  first  the  fears  of  Hoyen  certainly  appeared  to  be  valid. 
In  the  place  of  an  awkward,  but  independent,  national  painting, 
there  came,  in  the  sixties  and  seventies,  one  which  had  external 
brilliancy,  but  was  cosmopolitan  and  without  character.  For 
acquaintance  with  foreign  countries  had  all  the  effect  of  a  sur- 
prise, just  as  a  bend  of  the  road  suddenly  brings  a  far  horizon 
into  view  :  the  charming  woodland  corner  which  was  an  entire 
world  in  itself  suddenly  becomes  a  mere  nook  in  the  landscape, 
and  its  fine,  irregular  lines  appear  small  and  insignificant  in 
comparison  with  the  majestic  features  of  the  distant  mountains. 
In  the  effort  to  choose  subjects  treated  in  other  countries  the 
stamp  of  individuality  was  lost,  as  well  as  that  tender  feeling 
for  home  sinking  to  the  most  inward  chambers  of  an  artist's 
nature,  the  feeling  those  older  masters  had  possessed  in  so  high 
a  degree. 

Carl  Block  is  the  leading  representative  of  this  group.  The 
son  of  a  Copenhagen  merchant,  after  leaving  the  Academy  of 
Art  he  had  first  worked  simply,  like  Vermehren  and  Exner, 
amongst  the  Zealand  peasants  and  upon  the  west  coast  of 
Jutland;  there  he  had  painted  a  number  of  pictures  dealing 
with  the  life  of  the  people,  pictures  which,  in  their  poverty  of 
colour  and  plain  intimacy  of  feeling,  shared  all  the  merits  and 
defects  of  the  older  Danish  paintings.  It  was  a  residence  in 
Rome,  from  1859  to  1865,  which  first  made  of  him  the  many- 
sided  artist  and  great  master  of  technique  whom  Danes  of  the 
older  generation  delight  to  honour,  but  who  gives  little  know- 
ledge of  Danish  art  to  any  one  not  a  Dane. 

In  the  first  place  there  is  in  his  pictures  from  life  an  un- 
pleasant genre  element,  that  forced  "humour"  which  the  older 
painters  were  so  discreet  in  keeping  at  arm's  length.  "  An  Old 
Bachelor,"  forced  to  undertake  the  repair  of  his  trousers,  and 
displaying  a  droll  clumsiness  the  while,  and  "  A  Roman  Street- 
Barber,"  in  the  midst  of  his  work  ogling  a  pretty  woman  who  is 
looking  out  of  a  window,  were  his  first  hits.     Soon  afterwards- 


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DENMARK 


301 


Leipzig:  SeemanH.] 

Carl  Block. 


at  the  same  time  as  Griitzner — 
he  discovered  the  comic  side  of 
monastic  life,  and  was  never 
tired  of  enlivening  the  public 
with  monks  plucking  geese  or 
applying  medicated  bags  to 
alleviate  toothache,  monks  who 
are  deaf  and  nevertheless  tell 
each  other  scandalous  narratives, 
and  the  like.  And,  of  course,  in 
Italy  he  could  not  rest  till  he 
had  won  the  laurels  of  the  his- 
torical painter.  "  Sampson  in  the 
Mill  amongst  the  Philistines," 
"  The      Daughter      of      Jairus," 

"Sampson  and  Delilah,"  and  "The  Liberation  of  Prometheus" 
were  pictures  of  technical  virtuosity  such  as  Danish  painters 
had  not  previously  displayed,  and  they  made  all  the  more  sen- 
sation in  Bloch's  native  land  since  there  had  not  previously 
been  any  "grand  art"  there.  But  a  foreigner  passes  Bloch's 
works  in  the  gallery  of  Christiansborg  with  a  good  deal  of  in- 
difference :  the  attractive  qualities  of  the  older  Danish  painting, 
the  simple  poetry  and  inward  depth,  are  just  what  they  do  not 
possess,  and  what  they  have  is  a  mere  reflection  of  that  which 
France  and  Germany  have  produced  likewise.  The  two-and- 
twenty  pictures  on  the  history  of  Christ  which  he  painted  in 
1865,  on  the  order  of  Jacobsen,  for  a  chapel  in  the  Castle  of 
Frederiksborg  which  had  been  built  again  after  the  fire,  might 
have  been  executed  by  Gustav  Richter.  His  "Chancellor  Niels 
Kaas,  upon  his  Deathbed,  giving  his  Young  Ward,  Prince  Christian, 
the  Keys  to  the  Vault  where  the  Crown  Jewels  are  preserved," 
and  "King  Christian  as  Prisoner  in  the  Castle  of  Sonderborg," 
stand — even  as  regards  their  aniline  sort  of  colour — to  older 
Danish  pictures  as  a  Piloty  stands  to  a  Spitzweg.  They  are 
the  works  of  a  cultivated  and  intelligent  artist,  who  has  seen 
much  in  foreign  parts  and  has  now  himself  learnt  to  paint. 
On    the    other    hand,   they   are    completely    wanting    in    artistic 


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MODERN  PAINTING 


temperament  and  all 
individuality.  Like 
those  of  Piloty,  the 
heads  of  his  figures 
are  painted  with  a 
strong  regard  for  the 
beautiful,  and  the 
ideas  harboured  by 
their  mighty  brows 
are  such  as  Columbus 
on  the  discovery  of 
America  or  the  dying 
Milton  are  wont  to 
have  in  all  this 
kind  of  historical 
painting.  His  "  In- 
terior from  the  Age 
of  Christian  IV."— a 
young  lady  getting 
out  of  bed,  whilst  a 
dog  runs  away  with 
her  slipper— would,  very  probably,  do  honour  to  Schrader.  But 
that  he  really  was  a  fine  artist  when  he  left  oflf  imitating  others 
is  proved  by  his  etchings — especially  the  landscapes — which,  in 
spite  of  a  certain  awkwardness,  are  amongst  the  most  delicate 
and  charming  which  have  been  executed  since  Daubigny. 

A  certain  routine  of  luxuriant  painting  was  moreover  acquired 
by  the  portrait-painter  Gertner^  the  dexterous  portrait  and  animal 
painter  Otto  Bache^  who  had  little  of  the  personal  note,  and 
Mrs,  Elisabeth  Jericliau-Baumann^  who  was  trained  in  Diisseldorf 
and  called  by  Cornelius  the  one  man  in  the  Diisseldorf  school, 
on  account  of  her  "  brusque "  style.  Axel  Helsted,  who  was 
first  a  pupil  of  Bonnat  in  Paris,  and  then  worked  in  England 
and  Italy,  is  with  Vilhelm  Rosenstand,  the  pupil  of  Marstrand,  the 
last  representative  in  Denmark  of  that  more  or  less  well-painted 
genre,  principally  concerned  with  humorous  or  dramatic  points, 
as   Knaus   is   its   leading   representative   in    Germany.      He    has 


Bloch:   "A  Roman  Street-Barber." 


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DENMARK 


303 


Helsted:  "The  Deputation." 


\TiUg9  photo. 


spirit  and  trenchant  observation,  and  to  these  qualities"  he  owes 
the  success  which  many  of  his  pictures  achieved  as  copper 
engravings  and  as  members*  plates  for  the  Society  of  Art.  In 
one  of  his  works,  "In  the  Villa  Borghese,"  he  shows  an  abbot 
engaged  in  learned  conversation  with  his  pupil,  the  latter  fur- 
tively looking  at  a  lizard  and  the  old  man  at  a  pretty  nursery- 
maid. A  schoolboy  going  home  in  "After  Lessons"  has  more 
books  than  he  can  carry,  which  is  meant  to  be  funny.  And  in 
"The  Lecture  for  Ladies"  one  of  the  audience  has,  of  course,  to 
be  yawning,  another  laughing,  and  a  third,  casting  enamoured 
eyes  on  the  professor.  Or  else  an  old  gentleman  is  sitting 
bashfully  upon  a  sofa,  twirling  his  hat  in  his  embarrassment,  and 
unable  to  screw  up  his  courage  to  make  a  declaration  of  love — 
carefully  considered  at  home — to  a  pretty  widow,  who  is  looking 
at  him  with  amusement  In  another  picture  the  town  council 
are  holding  a  meeting,  where  one  member  is  making  a  patriotic 
oration,  while  another  has  fallen  asleep,  and  a  third  is  laughing, 


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IT  Ulgt  photo. 


Helsted:  "The  Timid  Lover." 


and  a  fourth  making  notes ;  one  lounges  back  in  his  chair, 
another  is  resting  both  elbows  on  the  table,  and  a  third  aflfects 
the  pose  of  a  thinker,  while  the  servant,  the  representative  of 
low  comedy,  sneaks  out  of  the  room  with  the  brandy  bottle. 
All  this  is  by  no  means  badly  painted,  only  it  is  very  ordinary ; 
by  little  tricks  of  caricature,  by  giving  his  figures  noses  which 
are  too  long,  or  by  displaying  them  when  they  are  making  £aces^ 
Helsted  tries  to  win  a  laugh.  Such  a  painter  has  certainly  none 
of  the  nalvet^  of  Kobke  and  Lundbye,  nor  has  he  the  subtilty 
of  the  moderns. 

Schooled  from  1862  to  1868  at  the  Copenhagen  Academy 
under  Marstrand  and  Vermehren,  Christian  Zahrtmann  is  now  a 
man  of  fifty  years  and  upwards.  Compared  with  the  group  of 
painters  whose  art  in  so  many  ways  degenerated  into  a  dexterous 
calligraphy,  a  superficial  routine,  Zahrtmann  marks  a  reaction  like 
that  of  the  English  Preraphaelites  when  they  set  themselves 
against  the   theatrical   beauty   of  the   historical   picture   and   the 


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305 


Philistinism  of 
petty  genre 
painting.  He 
is  an  historical 
painter,  but  in 
a  manner  en- 
tirely his  own, 
an  historical 
painter  re- 
sembling no 
one  else,  and 
rend  e  r i  n  g 
things  which 
are  not  banal 
in  an  expres- 
sive manner 
and  with  a 
strong  dash  of 
paradox.  He 
is  a  man  of 
tough  will, 
who    troubles 

himself  with  no  other  motives  than  those  which  allure  him,  a  fine 
and  bold  spirit  with  whom  the  unusual  is  a  matter  of  course; 
speaking  more  generally,  he  is  one  of  the  most  knotty  and 
obstinate  personalities  who  have  ever  touched  a  brush,  and  he 
has  refused  to  see  with  another's  eyes  or  think  with  another's 
brain,  or  tp  allow  himself  to  be  influenced  by  existing  opinion, 
in  a  degree  which  is  altogether  curious.  In  a  picture  called 
"  Solomon  and  the  Queen  of  Sheba  "  he  has  painted  the  splendid 
and  luxurious  king  as  an  earnest  and  pedantic  young  rabbi,  with 
lean  cheeks  and  hollow  eyes,  the  seductive  queen  as  a  prosy  and 
learned  dame  of  sedate  age  and  understanding ;  and  so,  frigid  to 
their  very  hearts,  they  are  sitting  face  to  face,  each  in  a  Persian 
gown,  and  carrying  on  a  serious  discussion  over  the  Talmud, 
while  thin  clouds  of  incense  rise  from  the  primitive  and  meagre 
apparatus   at  their  feet     Of  the  beautiful  Aspasia  he  makes  a 


Copenhagen  :  IVinkel,] 

Zahrtmann:   "The  Death  of  Queen  Sophia  Amelia/ 


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majestic  and 
corpulent 
matron,  who, 
with  a  look 
of  deep  -  set 
pain  on  her 
broad,  mascu- 
line features, 
is  regarding 
the  bust  of 
her  dead  son. 
During  his 
residence  in 
Italy  from 
1875  to  1878 
he  repre- 
sented fruit- 
shops,  girls 
bearing  loads 
of  lime,  Sa- 
bine women 
rocking  their  children,  fruit-carriers  of  Amalfi  and  flower-sellers 
of  Florence,  and  later  in  Denmark  **The  Wise  and  the  Foolish 
Virgins,"  "Juliet  and  the  Nurse,"  and  "The  Death  of  Queen 
Sophia  Amelia ; "  but  in  either  case  what  marks  him  invariably 
is  sharp  opposition  to  that  false  ideality  which  had  at  that  time 
found  a  home  in  Danish  painting.  As  a  man  of  reflective  spirit, 
he  disdains,  in  his  pictures  of  women,  to  be  taken  captive  by 
that  beauty  of  form  which  is  so  easily  seized;  what  he  chiefly 
searches  for  in  a  woman  is  personality  and  spiritual  expression, 
rendering  the  latter  as  it  has  come  to  exist  in  and  through  life, 
with  all  the  defects  of  decaying  form,  with  features  marked  by 
suffering  or  hardened  by  strife. 

Thus  he  was  led  to  the  subject  which  has  been  nearest  his 
heart  during  more  recent  years,  the  subject  which  he  is  never  weary 
of  studying,  and  in  which  he  perpetually  discovers  new  moments. 
This    is   the   history   of   the   imprisonment   for   twenty   years  of 


Lop9nnag€n^  IVinkel.] 
Zahrtmann  ;   "  Eleokora  Christina  reading  the  Bible.*' 


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DENMARK 


307 


El  eon  o  r  a 
Christina, 
daughter  of 
Christian  IV., 
and  ihe  wife 
of  Uhlfeldt. 
She  has  dc- 
scribed  it 
herself  in  her 
Lamentable 
Recollections, 
This  heroine, 
whose  me- 
moirs arc 
classic,  and 
who  is  dear  to 
every  Dane 
this  daughter 
of  a  king 
thrown  into 
a      dungeon 

through  the  jealousy  of  a  queen,  aqd  there  mocked  by  her  very 
servants,  is  one  who  nevertheless  preserved  to  the  end  the  pride 
of  a  royal  princess  and  the  resignation  of  a  Christian  ;  for 
Zahrtmann  she  is  a  kind  of  incarnation  of  humanity  in  the 
person  of  a  woman.  In  a  corner  of  his  studio  hangs  the  life- 
size  original  portrait  of  Eleonora  Christina,  and  opposite  a 
painting  by  himself,  representing  this  corner,  with  two  huge 
candles  burning  upon  a  table  beneath  this  picture  and  illu- 
minating the  lofty  womanly  figure,  as  though  it  were  an  altar- 
piece.  She  is  his  patron  saint,  and  he  has  depicted  her  life  in 
all  its  details,  as  Menzel  did  that  of  Frederick  the  Great. 

For  long  years  he  buried  himself  in  the  history  of  this 
unfortunate  princess,  made  himself  familiar  with  her  personality 
and  her  writings,  and  endeavoured  to  put  upon  canvas  a  credible 
picture  of  her,  which  should  be  great  in  conception  and  sound 
in  form,  upon  the  basis  of  these  historical  studies.     He  painted 


Copenhagen:  IVinM.] 

Zahrtmann  :   ''  Eleonora  Christina  in  Prison.* 


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Cop€nhagin:  lVink9l.\ 


Zahrtmann  :   "Eleonora  Christina." 


her  as  a  young  wife  by  the  side  of  Uhlfeldt,  in  the  cloister  and 
in  prison,  as  she  was  when  searched  by  the  jailer  upon  her 
entry,  as  she  prayed  and  as  she  wrote  her  memoirs ;  he  called 
her  to  life  once  more  in  such  a  fashion  that  through  his  pictures 
there  was  begun  in  Denmark  a  veritable  cult  of  Eleonora 
Christina.  And  to  this  figure  he  has  given  an  intense  life. 
With  her  large,  masculine  features,  her  dignified  and  benevolent 
face,  Eleonora  seems  to  have  risen  from  the  grave  in  flesh  and 
blood,  just  as  she  once  existed.  One  feels  that  the  artist  has 
lived  her  life  through  with  her,  and  learnt  to  love  his  model. 
The  expression  in  these  pictures  has  an  air  of  veracity ;  the  play 
of  light  is  occasionally  hard  and  glittering,  but  often  exceedingly 
delicate  and  full  of  feeling.  As  Zahrtmann  emancipated  himself 
from  conventional  "beauty,"  so  he  set  himself  free  from  the 
dominant   idea  of  colouring.     At  a   time  when  the  brown  tone 


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DENMARK  309 

of  galleries  held  sway,  almost  throughout,  in  other  places,  he 
painted  in  colours  as  little  blended  and  as  sharply  accentuated 
as  possible,  and  he  sometimes  attains  an  effect — especially  in 
the  rendering  of  artificial  light — which  almost  resembles  the 
latest  experiments  of  Besnard.  His  most  beautiful  picture  of 
this  princess — one  replete  with  a  full  fusion  of  soft  brownish 
tones — represents  her  in  prison,  sitting  in  bed  by  night,  with 
her  look  fixed  upon  the  light  that  burns  on  the  table,  subdued 
by  a  shade.  An  infinite  warmth  and  a  deep  peace  rest  over 
the  picture  ;  the  white  bed,  the  variously  coloured  covering,  and 
the  dark  walls  are  under  a  yellowish-red  light,  and  between  the 
light  and  the  shadow  the  figure  of  the  old  woman  is  seen — 
a  full-bodied  matron,  sitting  quiet  and  motionless  with  large, 
composed,  and  thoughtful  features,  as  though  she  had  sat  in 
this  way  during  many  a  long  night  It  is  certainly  not  a  figure 
owing  its  origin  to  the  traditional  sentiments  of  historical 
painting,  but  a  personality  with  sharply  defined  features  and 
spiritual  expression.  Here  is  a  painter  who  has  dived  into  the 
past  without  losing  his  breath ;  one  who  has  produced  pictures 
which  are  sincere  and  free  from  pose,  and  as  earnest  and  full 
of  conviction  as  the  life  of  the  heroine  they  celebrate.  Not 
the  inspiration  of  the  footlights,  but  the  most  tender  intimacy 
of  feeling  is  his  essential  principle ;  and  in  this  sense  Zahrtmann 
makes  the  transition  to  the  last  and  specially  modern  phase  of 
Danish  art — that  which  came  into  being  from  1878,  the  year 
of  the  third  Paris  Exhibition. 

Danish  art  was  national  in  its  first  period,  although  awkward 
in  technique;  in  its  second  period  it  was  more  fully  developed 
in  technique,  though  compromised  by  an  outward  imitation  of 
foreign  methods  ;  but  now  it  appears  to  have  reached  a  climax 
of  achievement  in  point  of  technique  and  to  have  a  thoroughly 
individual  stamp.  Millet,  Bastien-Lepage,  and  the  other  more 
modern  Frenchmen  were  a  revelation  to  the  young  generation 
of  Danes,  and  gave  them  the  determining  impulses.  From  these 
artists  they  learnt  that  there  was  a  broader,  truer,  and  more 
living  method  of  understanding  nature  and  expressing  light 
than  the  paltry,  stippling  style  of  painting  in  which  Eckersbcrg 


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and  his  pupils  were  hard-bound.  And,  at  the  same  time,  these 
masters  announced  to  others  the  doctrine  that  to  be  an  artist 
there  was  no  necessity  to  become  international,  like  Bloch  and 
his  contemporaries — that  it  was  better,  like  those  older  Danes, 
to  draw  the  most  fitting  nourishment  from  the  soil  of  one's 
own  land.  From  this  epoch  we  have  to  reckon  with  a  novel 
and  most  animated  Danish  art,  combining  the  merits  of  the 
modern  French  with  those  of  the  elder  Danes.  It  attached 
itself  to  the  young  French  school  through  the  attentive  study 
of  tone-values  and  atmosphere.  All  the  modern  seekers  and 
guides,  Besnard,  Roll,  Carri^re,  Cazin,  Raflfaelli,  and  above  all 
Claude  Monet,  are  still  fervently  admired  and  much  followed 
in  the  Denmark  of  these  days.  But  this  art  has,  at  the  same 
time,  its  deep  roots  in  race  and  in  the  Danish  land.  Equipped 
with  richer  and  more  complex  means  of  expression,  it  does 
not  in  any  way  renounce  its  tradition  of  intimate  feeling  and 
refined  and  tenderly  delicate  observation.  The  older  artists  had 
been  true  ;  the  younger  sought  to  be  true  and  delicate  at  the 
same  time.  The  painting  in  Copenhagen  and  Skagen  in  these 
days  is  quite  different  and  much  better  than  that  of  Eckersberg 
and  Lundbye,  but  their  intimate  sentiment  for  nature  is  also 
possessed  by  the  young  generation  of  artists. 

The  merit  of  having  paved  the  way  for  this  fresh  develop- 
ment chiefly  belongs  to  Peter  S,  Kroyer,  one  of  the  greatest 
and  most  attractive  individualities  of  his  nation.  Born  in 
Stavanger  on  June  24th,  1851,  he  was  left  an  orphan  early 
in  life  and  went  to  Copenhagen,  where  he  was  received  in  the 
house  of  his  adoptive  father  Hendrik  Nicolai  KrOyer,  the 
ichthyologist;  and  he  was  barely  nine  years  old  before  his 
capacity  for  drawing  was  utilized  for  practical  purposes.  In 
Hendrik  Nicolai  Kr5yer*s  monograph  upon  parasite  crabs  the 
first  drawings  of  young  Kroyer  may  be  found  published  in 
copper-engraving.  Various  representations  of  the  fishing  village 
Hornbaek  ("  A  Forge  in  Hombaek,"  "  Fishers  catching  Herrings," 
"  Fishers  on  the  Stocken,"  and  "  Children  on  the  Strand ") 
were  the  first  pictures  hung  in  the  Exhibition  of  Charlottenborg 
in   1874.     In  the  same  year  a  large  cartoon,  "David  presenting 


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DENMARK  311 

himself  to  Saul  after  slaying  Goliath,"  obtained  for  him  the 
travelling  exhibition  of  the  Copenhagen  Academy,  and  during 
four  years  of  study  abroad  KrOyer  went  through  that  remark- 
able course  of  development  which  soon  placed  him  at  the  head 
of  Danish  art  as  a  master  of  technique.  In  the  older  pictures 
painting  had  been  harsh  and  diffident,  thin,  meagre,  and  motley 
in  colour;  but,  through  contact  with  the  French,  KrOyer 
acquired  that  refinement  in  tone  and  that  power  of  handling 
which  have  since  become  his  distinguishing  characteristics.  L^on 
Bonnat  was  his  first  mentor,  and  a  picture  belonging  to  the 
year  1878,  "Daphnis  and  Chloe,"  was  his  first  attempt  to 
embody  in  a  large  painting  the  new  lights  which  he  had  re- 
ceived in  Bonnat's  studio.  A  lengthy  residence  in  Brittany, 
where  he  painted  field-labourers  in  company  with  the  landscape- 
painter  Pelouse,  and  collected  opulent  material  for  studies, 
marked  the  second  stage  in  his  development;  and  a  journey 
to  Spain  and  Italy,  to  which  he  may  have  been  incited  by 
Bonnat,  the  portrayer  of  Italian  popular  life,  marked  the  third. 
The  chief  result  of  his  work  in  Brittany  was  "The  Sardine 
Packers,"  an  interior  with  women  cleaning  sardines  and  fitting 
them  for  being  packed.  In  Spain  and  Italy  he  painted  the 
"Women  binding  Bouquets  in  Granada,"  which  may  be  found 
in  the  Copenhagen  Gallery,  and  "  The  Italian  Village  Hatmaker," 
which  won  for  him  the  first  medal  in  the  Paris  Salon  of  1881. 
Naked  to  the  waist,  and  covered  with  shining  drops  of  perspira- 
tion, a  powerful  masculine  figure,  by  the  side  of  a  glowing  brasier, 
is  twisting  his  felt  with  his  hands  over  a  huge  block.  Both 
his  children,  likewise  half  naked,  are  working  in  the  same  way. 
An  oppressive  heat  fills  the  dark  room,  through  the  little  window 
of  which  a  sunbeam  is  vainly  endeavouring  to  penetrate. 

This  picture  was  of  the  same  importance  for  Danish  paint- 
ing as  Courbet's  "  Stonebreakers "  had  been  for  French  and 
Menzel's  "  Smithy  "  for  German.  Realism  was  introduced  by  it ; 
and  KrOyer  returned  home  with  a  foreign  sanction  upon  his 
art,  and  as  an  accomplished  master  he  took  up  his  old  theme, 
the  representation  of  Danish  life  in  town  and  upon  the  sea- 
shore, with  fresh  brilliancy  and  renewed  vigour. 


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CoptHkagtn:  Stockholm,] 

Kr(5yer  :   **  The  Sardine  Packers." 

Kroyer,  indeed,  is  one  of  those  rare  personalities  who  can 
do  almost  anything  they  wish.  Pictures  in  the  open  air  and 
interiors,  flashing  effects  of  sun  upon  the  strand,  mysterious 
phases  of  dusk  and  artificial  light,  he  treats  them  all  with  that 
even  sureness  which  makes  light  of  every  difficulty.  Nothing 
short  of  astonishing  in  improvization,  he  has  likewise  the  genius 
of  a  draughtsman.  With  his  pencil  in  his  hand  he  is  in- 
defatigable in  dashing  in  a  likeness,  a  pose,  or  an  attitude,  and 
with  an  aptitude  that  is  almost  invariable;  with  a  couple 
of  strokes  he  evokes  a  physiognomy.  "  Skagen  Fishers  at 
Sunset "  and  "  Fishermen  setting  out  by  Night "  were  the  first 
pictures  which  he  sent  from  Denmark  to  the  Salon.  One  repre- 
sents a  number  of  raw-boned  seamen  dragging  a  net  over  the 
tawny  sand  at  sunset.  The  beams  of  the  setting  sun  play  upon 
their  clothes,  and  the  night  draws  on  apace.  A  great  silence  rests 
over  the  sea,  and  the  large  outlines  of  the  fishermen  stand  out 
sharply  defined  against  the  obscure  sky.      In  the  other   picture 


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DENMARK 


313 


Gas.  d9S  B^attx-Arts.] 


[Guirard  mc. 


Kr3yer  :  **  Skagen  Fishers  at  Sunset.** 


there  is  the  plain  of  Skagen  in  the  dusk.  Two  or  three  white 
clouds  stand  silvery  upon  the  horizon  ;  the  lighthouse  has  just 
begun  to  show  its  lights,  and  a  group  of  fishermen  are  seated 
smoking  upon  the  fine  sea-sand.  One  of  them  lies  upon  his 
stomach  looking  seaward.  Here  and  there  a  sailor  emerges  in 
the  vaporous  dusk.  This  exhalation  from  the  sea  rests  like  a 
thin  violet  breath  over  the  whole  landscape,  and  the  strange 
intermingling  of  the  illumination  of  moonlight  and  of  the  radiance 
of  the  beacons  is  cast  over  the  figures  with  an  indistinct  bright- 
ness. In  a  third  most  charming  and  entirely  Impressionistic 
picture  of  188 1,  he  represented  the  artists  in  Skagen  at  breakfast 
There  they  sit,  eight  or  ten,  blond  and  cheery  comrades,  glad  of 
their  own  existence  in  the  world.  The  remnants  of  a  frugal 
breakfast  are  still  upon  the  table.  And  the  fresh  harmonies 
of  animated  tones  play  round  the  physiognomies,  which  have 
been  rapidly  seized.  The  following  years  were  occupied  with 
portrait-painting :  to  them  belong  the  large  family  group  of  the 
Hirschsprungks,  which  was  not  very  successful,  and  the  por- 
traits of  Krohn,  Sorensen,  and    Georg   Brandes,   which,  in   their 

VOL.  III.  21 


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314  MODERN  PAINTING 

characterization,  ease,  and  freedom  from  pose,  announced  the 
great  pictures  of  social  life  with  which  he  made  an  appearance 
in  the  exhibitions  from  the  year  1887.  The  earliest  of  these,  the 
"Soiree  in  Karlsberg,"  represented  a  number  of  Copenhagen 
artists  and  scholars  assembled  at  Jacobsen's  the  brewer's ;  and  it 
is  scarcely  possible  to  compose  a  group  with  more  spirited  ease,, 
to  set  guests  conversing,  and  to  display  them  listening  or  bored 
by  the  entertainment,  with  less  constraint  of  manner.  In 
another  picture  he  ventured  to  paint  a  party  of  men,  where  the 
guests  are  listening  to  a  quartette,  enveloped  in  dense  clouds  of 
smoke — so  dense  that  the  flames  of  the  candles  are  reduced 
to  a  dull  spot,  while  the  smoke  hangs  like  a  greenish-grey  veil 
between  the  spectator  and  the  characteristic  heads  upon  the 
canvas.  The  latter  are  also  portraits  of  well-known  personages 
in  Copenhagen.  The  third  picture  of  this  year,  "  A  Summer 
Day  upon  the  Beach  at  Skagen,"  is  saturated  in  the  light  of 
noon.  Naked  lads  are  bathing  on  the  strand,  and  their  outlines 
have  a  bluish  tinge  set  against  the  sky,  beaming  in  Northern 
brightness.  By  an  exceedingly  slight  device — in  fact  merely  by 
the  various  delicate  shades  of  blue  and  yellow — the  idea  of 
intense  heat  was  produced  with  peculiar  effect.  "  The  Musical 
Soiree"  in  the  Copenhagen  Gallery  belongs  to  the  year  1888, 
and  is  another  picture  of  dim,  dusky  light,  with  great  natural- 
ness in  the  poses  of  the  company  and  astonishing  intimacy  of 
feeling  in  the  expression  of  the  listening  faces.  How  soft  and 
dreamy  in  this  work  is  the  powerful  realist  who  painted  "The 
Italian  Hatmaker"  and  "The  Fishermen  setting  out  by  Night "f 
Kroyer  is  a  light  and  mobile  artist,  always  receptive,  always 
productive,  influenced  by  the  French  and  yet  independent,  naive 
and  refined  ;  he  has  made  his  name  early  in  Scandinavia  and 
Europe,  has  an  eye  which  nothing  escapes,  and  a  hand  which 
is  felicitous  in  everything.  As  various  as  he  is  bold,  graceful 
and  facile,  he  solves  every  difficulty  as  though  it  were  child's 
play,  and  hazards  those  very  things  which  are  most  beset  with 
peril  for  the  artist. 

When   the   Danish   National   Exhibition  was   set   on    foot  in 
Copenhagen   to   celebrate   the  twenty-fifth  year   of  the   reign   of 


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DENMARK  317 

Christian  IX,,  Jacobsen,  who  had  also  made  arrangements  for  the 
representation  of  French  art,  sent  an  invitation  to  Parisian  artists, 
and  had  a  pavilion  built  for  their  works.  Pasteur  had  the  honorary 
presidency  of  the  committee  formed  in  Paris,  while  Antonin  Proust 
actually  presided ;  and  Jacobsen  commissioned  Kroyer  to  paint 
a  group  introducing  the  members.  This  gave  him  the  oppor- 
tunity of  showing  his  cogent  force  as  a  master  of  characteriza- 
tion in  connection  with  a  problem  of  light  of  such  a  difficult  and 
artificial  character  that  only  a  master  could  have  ventured  upon 
it  The  proceedings  have  lasted  until  late  in  the  afternoon. 
Through  lofty  windows  falls  the  pale,  declining  wintry  light, 
whilst  in  the  room  two  oil-lamps  burn  with  an  intense  radiance, 
illuminating  the  plans  upon  the  table.  The  opposition  of 
this  double  light,  natural  and  artificial,  the  struggle  of  white 
and  yellowish  tones  tremulously  uniting  and  falling  upon  the 
faces  of  the  men,  has  been  rendered  with  astonishing  subtilty. 
Pasteur,  sitting  in  the  middle,  is  following  upon  a  plan  the  ex- 
planations of  the  Danish  architect  Klein.  Behind  him  stands 
Jacobsen  with  Charles  Gamier,  and  Paul  Dubois  is  sitting  ta 
the  right,  turning  round  towards  Jacobsen.  Antonin  Proust, 
who  is  standing,  presides  over  the  assembly.  And  around  there 
may  be  recognized  the  figures  of  Puvis  de  Chavannes,  taking 
hotes,  and  quite  in  the  front  Falguifere,  and  behind  Chaplin^ 
Barrias,  and  G^rdme  ;  upon  the  other  side,  from  the  left,  are 
Bonnat,  Cazin,  Roll,  Besnard,  Gervex,  Antonin  Merci6,  Chapu^ 
Carolus  Duran,  Delaplanche,  and  others.  A  momentary  sketch 
could  not  have  a  more  natural  effect,  and  yet  it  is  just  such  an 
impression  as  this  which  can  only  be  rendered  by.  the  most 
assured  technique  in  all  that  regards  composition. 

Laurits  Regner  Tuxen,  who  is  standing  to  the  right,  in  the 
corner  of  the  picture,  beside  Kroyer,  is  a  couple  of  years  junior 
to  the  latter,  and  came  in  the  same  year,  in  the  autumn  of 
1875,  to  Bonnat's  studio  in  Paris.  By  a  "Susanna,"  several 
portraits  of  women  a  la  Carolus  Duran,  and  a  large  picture,. 
"The  Boiling  of  Train-oil  upon  the  West  Coast  of  Jutland,"  he 
showed  the  Danish  public  in  1879  how  much  he  had  learnt 
in   the   high    school    of   modern   technique ;    and    after   renewed 


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MODERN  PAINTING 


residence  in  Cayeux, 
Paris,  and  Italy,  he 
settled  for  good  in 
Copenhagen  in  1883, 
where  he  has  now 
become  the  official 
court  painter,  and  is 
entrusted  with  those 
many  "  great "  com- 
missions which  the 
little  country  has  at 
its  disposal.  Beside 
the  huge  and  well- 
known  picture  of 
the  Danish  royal 
family,  consisting  of 
no  less  than  thirt>'^- 
two  figures,  he 
painted  a  certain 
number  of  ceiling- 
pieces  for  the  Castle 
of  Frederiksborg  : 
^*  Denmark  receiving  the  Homage  of  the  Estates  of  the  Realm,'* 
"The  Triumph  of  Venus,"  and  the  like.  He  is  a  man  of  the 
world  even  with  his  brush,  and  his  ability,  which  can  adapt 
itself  to  everything,  has  made  him  an  excellent  teacher,  who  has 
exercised  great  influence  over  the  development  of  Danish  painting 
through  the  private  school  which  he  founded  in  Copenhagen, 
and  who  has  quickly  raised  it  to  a  level — especially  after  Kroyer 
had  shown  the  way — which  it  would  otherwise  have  probably 
taken  a  longer  time  to  reach.  Nevertheless,  like  Bloch,  he  has 
given  one  more  evidence  that  it  is  not  easy  to  become  cosmo- 
politan without  losing  national  peculiarities.  So  far  as  I  am 
acquainted  with  his  works,  he  does  not  so  much  make  the 
impression  of  an  artist  of  conviction  and  individuality  as  of  a 
man  who  has  the  capacity  of  doing  well  whatever  may  be 
demanded  from  him. 


CoptnhagiH  :  Stockholm.'] 

TuxEN :   ''  Susanna  and  the  Elders.*' 


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DENMARK  319 

A  man  of  deeper  and  far  more  genuine  character  is  August 
Jemdorff^  originally  a  pupil  of  P.  C.  Skovgaard,  and  at  first 
chiefly  notable  as  a  landscape-painter  working  in  the  spirit  of 
his  teacher.  Afterwards  he  produced  several  biblical  pictures 
of  great  ability,  and  in  particular  several  portraits,  which  may 
probably  be  reckoned  as  his  best  performances.  He  has  an 
incisive  and  masterly  gift  of  characterization,  models  with  a 
precision  rare,  in  our  days,  and  has  likewise  shown  an  eminent 
<lecorative  talent  as  an  illustrator. 

What  principally  marks  the  present  Danish  painting  is  not, 
however,  the  gifted  variety,  grace,  and  ease  peculiar  to  these 
painters.  It  has  rather  an  honest,  familiar,  provincial  trait 
which  has  something  of  tender  melancholy.  It  is  like  a  good 
mistress  who  makes  her  home  comfortable  and  enjoys  sitting 
by  her  own  hearth,  having,  ajt  the  same  time,  an  interest  in 
music,  poetry,  and  art.  In  fact  the  Dane  has  really  nothing 
besides  the  comfort  of  his  domestic  life.  His  country,  which 
was  once  so  powerful,  has  gradually  become  smaller  in  its 
geographical  boundaries  and  politically  insignificant.  Since  the 
time  of  Christian  IV. — in  other  words,  since  the  Thirty  Years' 
War — Denmark,  which  once  held  sway  over  Sweden  and  com- 
manded all  the  Baltic,  has  steadily  declined.  She  lost  the 
provinces  of  Southern  Sweden  in  1658,  Norway  in  18 14,  and 
in  1864  the  duchies  which  were  her  pedestal.  Such  a  people 
must  necessarily  cling  with  all  the  deeper  devotion  to  what  has 
been  left  it,  its  soil  and  its  home.  Thus  it  is  that  no  great 
features  and  no  imposing  themes  are  to  be  found  in  Danish 
painting.  When  their  painters  attempt  anything  of  the  kind 
it  is  as  though  their  warmth  of  feeling  had  passed  away  and 
they  were  themselves  out  of  sorts,  as  if  they  were  borrowing 
from  others  and  what  they  did  were  not  their  own.  But  where 
Danish  painting  is  entirely  itself,  entirely  the  expression  of 
the  spirit  of  the  nation,  it  broods  quietly  over  a  perfectly 
simple,  ordinary  motive,  a  motive  which  is  almost  indigent  in 
-character.  Spreading  plants,  old-fashioned  velvet  furniture, 
loudly  ticking  clocks,  and  petroleum  lamps,  pleasant  talk  round 
the    family    table    in    the    twilight,    reveries    at    the    piano,  or 


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MODERN  PAINTING 


half  familiar  and  commonplace 
and  half  ceremonious  musical 
soiries — such  are  the  materials 
of  Danish  art.  Besides  things 
like  these,  the  Dane  paints 
with  loving  devotion  the  like- 
ness of  his  little  country,  and 
the  gracious  melancholy  of 
its  soft  scenes  lives  in  his 
landscapes. 

Viggo  Johansen  is,  perhaps,, 
the  artist  who  at  the  present 
best  represents  in  a  moral 
sense  this  Danish  art  with  all 
its   inherent   qualities.     No  one 

has  so  combined   the  old   tra- 
ViGGo  Johansen.  ,.^.  e    •   ^-       ^         i_ 

dition   of   intimate   observation 

with  the  most  modern  study  of  the  effects  of  light.  He  is,. 
par  excellence,  the  artist  of  intimate  emotion,  which,  however^ 
'v&  not  the  same  thing  as  being  a  genre  painter.  Painters  who- 
represent  domestic  scenes  in  rooms  after  the  fashion  of  genre 
are  to  be  found  in  every  school;  but  few  there  are  since 
Chardin  who  have  portrayed  faithfully  and  without  affectation 
and  banality  the  poetry  of  family  life.  For  this  something 
more  than  mere  dexterity  \s  wanting ;  the  whole  spirit  of  the 
artist  must  be  in  his  work,  and  art  and  life  must  be  fused  in  to- 
each  other.  Johansen  creates  the  feeling  that  he  really  believes 
in  what  he  is  doing.  Not  only  is  he  an  artist  with  a  rare 
capacity  for  pictorial  expression,  but  he  is  also  a  delicate  and 
sensitive  spirit  His  pictures  have  been  lived  and  seen,  and  are 
not  merely  the  result  of  design  and  skilful  make.  For  him« 
there  is  a  charm  in  the  fine,  curling  cloud  of  steam  escaping 
from  the  tea-kettle,  something  delightful  in  the  unity  of  the 
family  gathered  round  the  table,  something  cordial  in  the 
bubbling  water  and  the  fire  crackling  in  the  stove.  Were  a 
Frenchman  to  handle  such  themes  one  would  be  lost  in  ad- 
miration  of  the  finely  studied   effects  of  light.      But  Johansen's 


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DENMARK 


321 


works  are  like  a 
moment  of  life 
itself,  like  the 
memory  of  some- 
thing dear  and 
familiar  appealing 
to  the  heart  in 
plain  accents. 

In  one  of  his 
pictures  in  the 
Copenhagen  Ex- 
hibition he  repre- 
sented a  cosy 
room,  with  spread- 
ing, leafy  plants, 
copper  plates, 
flower  -  stands,  a 
cottage  -  piano,  a 
round    table,    and 


JOHANSEN 


\,1  lU^€  plUfiO, 

"The  Morning  Sleep." 


an  old-fashioned  sofa,  where  six  Danish  painters  were  comfortably 
seated  together.  The  subdued  light  of  the  lamp  fell  upon  their 
persons,  leaving  the  rest  of  the  room  in  faint  obscurity.  There 
is  not  a  Dutch  "  little  master "  who  could  have  more  accurately 
rendered  the  reflections  of  the  lamplight  playing  upon  bottles 
and  glasses,  and  not  one  who  could  have  better  attained  the  refine- 
ments of  physiognomy  which  are  in  this  work.  In  the  way  in 
which  they  sit  talking  and  listening  to  the  conversation,  the 
figures  have  an  intense  vividness  such  as  Impressionism  first 
gave  the  secret  of  arresting  in  its  direct,  momentary  effect. 
Johansen  introduced  himself  into  Germany  for  the  first  time,  in 
1890,  with  one  of  those  supper-pieces  so  characteristic  of  Danish 
painting.  The  men  in  their  old-fashioned  smart  coats,  and  the 
women  with  their  provincial,  overladen  toilettes,  are  grouped  in 
the  drawing-room  after  supper,  listening  to  a  stout  gentleman  at 
the  piano,  who  is  obliging  the  company  with  a  song.  They  are 
none  of  them  taking  pains  to  be  brilliant,  but  seem  quite  at 
home  in   the  picture,  being  simple,  reflective,  and  rather  limited 


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MODERN  PAINTING 


Johansen:   "At  the  Piano." 

in  their  mental  horizon.  And  that  mild,  warm  air,  somewhat 
impregnated  with  tobacco,  that  air  in  which  Johansen  so  much 
delights,  circulates  in  the  room,  a  soft  veil  of  reddish-grey  dusk, 
from  which  the  figures  detach  themselves  slowly. 

Domestic  life,  the  quiet  comfort  of  the  Danish  home,  has 
found  its  representative  in  Johansen,  who  has  glorified  every- 
thing with  the  magic  of  his  poetry  :  the  familiar  talks  beneath 
the  lamp  in  the  long  winter  evening,  the  little  events  of  the 
day,  children  getting  up  and  going  to  bed,  and  their  games 
or  their  work  beneath  their  mother's  eyes.  It  is  Saturday 
evening.  In  the  old  wooden  bath  the  water  is  steaming,  and 
the  tiled  stove  is  glowing  as   if  it   must  burst,  so  that  the  little 


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DENMARK 


323 


Johamsen:   a  Landscape. 

ones  cannot  catch  cold  when  they  have  had  their  bath.  Or 
boys  and  girls  have  both  put  on  their  Sunday  finery  betimes, 
and  march  into  their  grandmother's  room,  where  she  is  lying 
in  bed,  not  from  being  ill,  but  because  it  is  the  warmest 
place  in  which  to  celebrate  her  birthday.  Again,  it  is  dusk, 
and  the  glimmering  coals  in  the  oven  alone  light  up  the  pleasant 
room  where  a  young  mother  is  just  beginning  to  tell  stories. 
And  four  great,  shining,  childish  eyes  look  up  at  her  full  of 
inquiry. 

But  this  same  master  who  has  created  these  unadorned  and 
intimate  interiors,  which  have  been  felt  with  such  manly  tender- 
ness, is,  at  the  same  time,  one  of  the  finest  landscape-painters 
in  Denmark.  With  marvellous  finish  Johansen  can  paint  the 
silvery  air  of  the  little  island  country,  where  autumn  is  so 
mild  and  the  sunlight  so  soft — the  vaporous  atmosphere  which, 
like  a  light  veil  of  gauze,  tones  down  all  contours  and  rounds 
all  lines  ;    and   yet  here,  too,  the  highest  art   has  been  resolved 


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into  simple  nature,  so  that  one  has  no  sense  of  beholding  a 
picture,  but  can  feel  the  poetry  of  the  landscape,  with  its  melan- 
choly, its  solitude,  and  its  mysterious  stillness.  Perhaps  the 
picture  is  one  of  a  peasant  cot,  standing  lonely  in  the  sunshine, 
upon  the  wide  green  meadow,  and  surrounded  by  the  warm 
blue  autumn  evening.  In  front  there  graze  a  couple  of  cows, 
one  seeming  to  sleep  as  it  stands,  the  other  chewing  the  cud. 
And  from  the  whole  picture  there  escapes  that  half-somnolent 
sense  of  reverie  that  overcomes  one  upon  a  warm  summer 
evening.  Or  there  are  a  couple  of  men,  thorough  Danes  of 
the  country  parts,  with  great  red  beards  and  meditative  eyes, 
sauntering  along  a  village  path,  whidh  leads  past  a  wooden 
fence  to  a  small  creek.  The  sun  is  going  down,  the  mists  from 
land  and  sea  rise  like  a  silvery  veil  over  the  landscape,  the 
air  is  still  and  not  a  leaf  stirring,  but  the  wooden  shoes  of  the 
men  grate  upon  the  sand. 

In  this  delicate  and  moving  feeling  for  nature,  Johansen's 
art  is,  as  it  were,  the  expression  of  the  collective  efforts  of  the 
younger  Danes.  As  a  painter  of  interiors  and  of  landscapes, 
he  unites  both  the  leading  tendencies  which  others  represent 
separately  :  some  confine  themselves  by  preference  to  the  country 
and  the  coast,  amid  the  people  and  amid  nature,  whence 
they  have  themselves  proceeded,  whereas  others  with  unusual 
pictorial  softness  of  effect  give  expression  to  the  genial  life  of  the 
bourgeoisie  in  Copenhagen.  Holsoe  delights  in  painting  interiors 
in  the  dusk,  and  transparent  light  falling  through  the  leafy, 
spreading  plants  on  to  the  broad  windows,  and  greenish-white 
twilight  hovering  in  the  room,  where  are  green  velvet  sofas» 
shining  mahogany  furniture,  pianos,  brackets,  and  quiet  girls 
reading  letters  at  the  window  or  playing  the  piano  by  candle- 
light. Carl  Thomsen,  H.  N'.  Hansen,  Otto  Haslund,  Irtninger, 
Engelstedy  have  all  set  themselves  free  from  those  trivial  drolleries 
into  which  genre  painting  degenerated  with  Helsted.  Johansen 
caused  them  to  reflect  that  a  genre  picture  should  not  be  a  piquant 
little  story  narrated  with  more  or  less  spirit,  but  a  fragment  of 
household  life  simply  rendered.  The  figures  which  fill  their 
plain,    sympathetic   pictures   are   those   of    people  with   graceful, 


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DENMARK  325 

indolent,  careless,  and  gentle  movements,  sitting  opposite 
each  other  thoughtfully,  and  lost  in  silence ;  solitary  women 
gazing  in  the  evening  with  longing  across  the  brown  heath ;  old 
people  with  the  look  of  being  alienated  from  the  world,  with 
the  air  of  having  sat  in  little  rooms  day  after  day  forgotten  of 
everybody ;  girls  of  a  still  and  touching  beauty,  reading  stories 
in  the  corner  by  the  stove,  dreaming  in  an  arbour,  or  accompany- 
ing their  sad  songs  on  the  piano.  Thoroughly  Danish  and 
sombre  is  Lauritz  Ringy  who  has  painted  good  pictures  from 
peasant  life.  Erik  Henningsen^  who  has  executed — rather  in  the 
style  of  Jean  B^raud — animated  street-scenes,  arrests,  popular 
merry-makings,  and  the  like,  is  a  little  superficial  and  vulgar  in 
the  French  sense.  A  tinge  of  sadness,  such  as  runs  through 
Danish  novels,  underlies  a  deathbed  scene  by  Fritz  Sybergy  who 
has  felt  the  influence  of  that  tough  and  knotty  master  of 
characterization  Zahrtmann.  In  Copenhagen  this  school  of 
Zahrtmann  forms  a  little  circle  of  its  own  and  seems  to  have 
beneficial  elements  for  the  future. 

The  resort  of  the  painters  of  the  sea  and  of  fishers  is  Skagen, 
the  little  fishing  village  at  the  extreme  end  of  Jutland.  The 
pioneers  of  the  new  renaissance  came  into  touch  at  once  with 
pletn  air  and  the  life  of  the  people  in  this  Danish  Dachau  ;  here 
they  learnt  to  love  the  wide  strand  and  the  melancholy  dunes, 
and  the  harmony  of  the  cold,  bright  light,  and  here  have  they 
studied  the  customs  of  the  dwellers  on  the  shores,  their  rude 
physiognomy,  and  the  strong,  healthy  poetry  of  their  life,  so  full 
of  changes.  Michael  Anchcr  and  his  wife  discovered  Skagen 
in  the  interests  of  Danish  painting. 

According  to  the  portrait  which  her  husband  has  painted  of 
her,  Mrs.  Anna  Ancher  is  a  pretty  little  woman  of  thirty.  She 
was  born  in  Skagen,  and  there  on  the  strand  near  her  native 
village  she  learnt  to  see  nature,  and  afterwards  worked  from 
1875  to  1878  under  Kyhn  in  Copenhagen.  Since  then  she  has 
settled  with  her  husband  in  Skagen,  far  off  at  the  world's  end. 
There  is  no  need  for  giving  the  titles  of  pictures  by  Madame 
Ancher.  "  A  Mother  with  her  Child  "  was  her  first  charming  idyll. 
Then  followed  a  picture  "  Coffee  is  Ready."     It  is  afternoon :  an 


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326  MODERN  PAINTING 

old  fisher  is  resting  on  the  bench  by  the  stove,  and  a  young  woman 
wakes  him  gently.  After  this  work  Madame  Ancher  delighted 
the  public  every  year  by  some  charming  picture,  in  which  an  ener- 
getic grasp  of  fact  was  combined  with  sympathetic  feminine 
insight  for  men  and  things.  The  Copenhagen  Gallery  possesses  a 
funeral  scene  by  her.  The  coffin  hung  with  green  wreaths,  the 
room  with  its  red-stained  walls,  and  the  people  standing  around 
with  so  serious  an  air,  how  simple  it  all  is,  and  at  the  same  time 
how  plain  and  homely!  At  the  Munich  Exhibition  of  1892  she 
was  represented  by  a  study,  "  Morning  Sunlight : "  a  room  with 
walls  stained  blue,  and  bright  sunbeams  pouring  in  through 
the  window  and  playing,  as  though  they  were  a  light  shower  of 
gold,  upon  the  walls,  the  yellow  planks,  and  the  blond  hair  of  a 
girl.  All  her  pictures  are  works  softly  tender  and  full  of  fresh 
light  But  the  execution  is  downright  and  virile.  It  is  only  in 
little  touches,  in  fine  and  delicate  traits  of  observation  which 
would  probably  have  escaped  a  man,  that  these  paintings  are 
recognized  to  be  the  works  of  a  feminine  artist. 

Michael  Ancher  is  ten  years  older  than  his  wife.  Peculiarly 
is  he  the  painter  of  the  race  of  large-boned  and  rough-grained 
fishers  who  on  the  northern  coast  of  the  island  kingdom  extort 
a  meagre  livelihood  from  the  sea  by  hard  toil.  "Fishers 
watching  a  Ship  sailing  by  in  a  Storm"  was  the  title  of  the 
first  large  picture  with  which  he  made  his  appearance  in  1876. 
Upon  a  sea-dune  falling  abruptly,  a  number  of  fishers  have 
gathered  to  mark  the  vessel,  scourged  by  the  gale  out  at  sea. 
Some  of  them,  dressed  only  in  oilskin  trousers  and  woollen 
jersey,  stand  upright,  their  great  outlines  standing  sharply  defined 
against  the  gloomy  sky,  which  is  swept  by  heavy  black  clouds ; 
others  have  lain  down  upon  the  soft  drifts  of  sand.  The  colour 
is  still  rather  poor  and  sober;  but  the  conception  of  nature, 
sincere,  impressively  simple,  and  almost  ascetically  energetic,, 
already  announced  the  forceful  master  who  stands  forth  to-day 
as  the  Ulysse  Butin  of  Denmark,  a  distant  kinsman  of  those 
strong-handed,  honest,  and  simple  painters  of  the  proletariat 
who  gather  round  Alfred  Roll  in  Paris.  Michael  Ancher  knows 
the   sea   and   that   toil   of  fishermen   which   tans    the    face    and 


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DENMARK 


327 


Anna  Ancher:   "A  Funeral." 


ITtllge  photo. 


makes  the  hands  hard,  and  in  his  pictures  he  renders  it  with 
the  plainness  of  an  old  seaman.  With  him  all  is  clear, 
precise,  and  as  matter-of-fact  as  open  daylight.  His  broad 
plebeian  treatment,  which  courts  no  pictorial  graces,  but  repre- 
sents the  fact  sincerely  and  in  accordance  with  reality,  suits  his 
coarse-handed,  raw-boned  subjects.  Ancher*s  men  are  actual 
fishermen  ;  every  figure  has  an  extraordinary  intensity  of  life, 
and  the  atmospheric  mood  is  always  true  and  unforced ;  every- 
thing manufactured  and  suggestive  of  the  tableau  is  avoided  in 
his  composition  throughout.  Here  is  a  lay-preacher  upon  the 
strand  hemmed  in  by  a  throng  of  pious  listeners,  and  there, 
of  a  Sunday  evening,  a  pair  of  fishers  are  making  their  way 
home  across  the  dunes.  Here  a  heavy  boat  for  carrying 
freightage  is  being  dragged  over  the  sand  by  sturdy  nags,  and 
there  another  shoots  through  the  murky  green  tide  landwards, 
rowed  by  three  men  in  oilskin  ;    and  there,   again,  are   weather- 


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UiUg9  photo 
Michael  Ancher:   ''Fishers  watching  a  Ship  sailing  by  in  a  Storm." 

beaten  seamen,  lolling  upon  the  shore  in  heavy,  dirty  weather, 
debating  the  destiny  of  a  ship  labouring  by  at  sea.  Even 
when  he  renders,  as  he  docs  at  times,  the  familiar  events  in 
the  household  life  of  Skagen  fishermen,  his  art  retains  its 
rude  and  earnest  note.  His  "  Boys'  School  in  Skagen "  was, 
for  example,  the  very  opposite  of  a  genre  picture  by  Emanuel 
Spitzer :  there  was  no  medley  of  good  and  naughty  boys 
practising  jokes  on  a  comic  schoolmaster.  The  old  man  sitting 
at  the  desk  in  his  shirt-sleeves,  with  large  spectacles,  is  a 
Northern  giant  who  does  not  allow  joking,  and  there  is  some- 
thing downcast  and  resigned  about  the  children.  Life  amid  this 
earnest  landscape,  and  between  the  blank  whitewashed  walls  of 
this  schoolroom  flooded  with  the  hard  Northern  daylight,  has 
made  them  staid  and  serious. 

Beside   Ancher,     Locher  is   the  principal  painter   of  the   sea. 
It  was  a  bold  stroke  to  name  a  waste  of  sea  "  January,"  as  he 


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DENMARK  329 

did  in  a  picture  at  the  Munich  Exhibition  of  1890;  and  yet 
one  really  felt  the  cold,  wintry  sunshine  in  this  seascape,  where 
everything  was  bright,  fluid,  and  transparent  In  the  works  of 
Thorolf  Pedersetiy  also,  the  sea  is  usually  an  earnest  and  sombre 
element  Nothing  is  to  be  seen  in  his  pictures  except  the  sea 
and  the  sky — not  a  boat,  nor  a  bird.  Long,  vaporous  strips 
of  cloud  shift  on  the  leaden-grey  firmament,  and  the  silvery 
blue  transparent  sea  rolls  out  in  long  billows,  plunging  against 
one  another  monotonously  to  the  far  horizon,  and  in  the  fore- 
ground streaming  wearily  over  the  level  bluish-yellow  sand  and 
the  pale  green  oat-tufts  of  the  dunes.  Whereas  in  the  pictures 
of  the  Belgian  marine-painters  the  sea  gleams  in  all  colours  of 
the  rainbow,  laughs  coquettishly,  or  gives  curtain-lectures  like  a 
pretty  woman,  the  Danes  paint  the  sea  in  its  limitless  and 
desolate  solitude. 

And  this  same  melancholy  trait  is  peculiar  to  the  majority 
of  Danish  landscapes.  Pictures  like  those  of  Viggo  Pedersen, 
who,  amongst  all  the  younger  Danes,  is  most  in  harmony  with 
the  latest  Frenchmen,  and  sometimes,  in  his  rainbow  pictures, 
with  Rubens  also,  are  in  their  fine,  clear  harmonies  and  their 
bright,  laughing  notes  less  characteristic  of  the  Danish  sentiment 
for  nature.  Moreover  his  field  of  work  was  not  so  much 
Denmark  as  Italy.  He  lingered  long  in  Paris,  and  then  in 
Rome  and  Sora  di  Campagna,  and  learnt  there  to  see  nature 
with  the  eyes  of  the  most  modern  Impressionists.  Otherwise  the 
painting  of  Italy  is  under  an  interdict  amongst  the  living 
Danes,  as  is  well  known ;  yet  men  like  Pedersen  are  able  to 
bring  it  into  honour  once  more.  His  pictures  have  been  seen 
in  such  an  interesting  way  that  they  mirror  the  landscape  of 
Italy  in  an  entirely  different  fashion  from  that  which  may  be 
seen  in  the  arid,  motley,  and  unpictorial  productions  of  the 
generation  which  is  vanishing.  They  have  no  majestic  mountain 
lines,  but  combine  the  grey  landscape,  the  pale  green  of  the 
olives,  and  the  tender  blue  of  the  sky  with  the  silvery  lii;ht 
which  pervades  everything — combine  them  in  absolutely  charm- 
ing concords,  vibrating  through  the  whole  atmosphere  in  delicate 
gradations. 

VOL.   III.  22 


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330  MODERN  PAINTING 

The  same  is  more  or  less  true  of  Philipseris  Italian  pictures  : 
he  is,  likewise,  one  of  the  most  eminent  of  the  modern  plein-air 
artists,  a  landscapist  of  note,  and  an  excellent  painter  of  animals ; 
as  such  he  has  taken  his  motives  of  late  years  from  the  islands 
Saltholm  and  Amager,  near  Copenhagen.  In  no  way  is  he  behind 
the  generation  born  ten  years  later ;  on  the  contrary  he  has  gone 
in  advance  of  it  and  levelled  the  way.  Thorwald  Niss  may  also 
be  considered  as  a  path-finder  in  the  Danish  art  of  landscape,, 
although  his  work  is  characteristic  of  a  somewhat  earlier  stage 
than  Philipsen's.  Beside  powerful  seascapes  he  takes  delight  in 
painting  the  moods  of  the  forest  in  autumn,  and  has  a  broad  and 
a  luxuriant  brush.  Together  with  Zacho  and  Gotfred  Christensen^ 
the  gifted  painter  of  the  Jutland  fjords,  he  has  long  exercised 
an  unquestionable  influence  on  Danish  painting  of  landscape, 
leading  it  to  adopt  a  more  forcible  scheme  of  colour  than  it  had 
in  earlier  days. 

Otherwise  there  rests  over  the  works  of  the  younger  group  of 
Danish  landscapists  all  the  still,  absorbed  melancholy  natural 
to  the  Danish  soil.  The  charm  of  Danish  scenery  does  not 
consist  in  splendid  colour  and  large  contours.  All  the  lines  are 
gradual  in  their  curves,  soft  in  all  their  forms,  and  without  great 
changes  or  surprises.  Even  in  the  beautiful  woodlands  round 
Copenhagen  the  huge  beeches  are  so  harmoniously  rounded  that 
they  leave  the  impression  of  suavity  rather  than  of  strength.  In 
a  certain  sense  Danish  nature  corresponds  with  the  Danish  tongue, 
which  is  just  as  mild,  as  discreet,  as  delicate,  and  as  free  of 
emphasis  as  the  outlines  of  the  country.  The  Dane  does  not  give 
way  to  broad  laughter,  but  only  to  a  smile ;  he  knows  nothing  of 
wild  life,  but  has  the  sense  of  quiet  enjoyment.  Noisy  demeanour 
he  would  regard  as  vulgarity.  Indeed  in  the  great  pleasure- 
gardens  of  Tivoli  there  are  thousands  of  people  moving  with  a 
decorum  and  quietude  which  almost  seem  unnatural.  There  is 
not  a  cry  to  be  heard,  and  when  any  one  talks  with  his  neighbour 
it  is  in  an  inaudible  whisper.  Everywhere  conversation  is  carried 
on  in  a  whisper — in  the  street,  the  public  promenades,  the  res- 
taurants. And  so  the  Danish  landscape  whispers  to  you  and 
cannot   cry   aloud,   smiles   and   will    not   laugh.     It   has   nothing 


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DENMARK  33  ► 

savage,  nor  rugged,  nor  indeed  too  large,  no  brusque  transitions,, 
no  sudden  interruptions,  but  only  wide  plains  with  indeterminate, 
vanishing,  almost  intangible  lines,  soft  rolling  country  that  ceases- 
imperceptibly  at  the  shore  of  the  sea  or  embraces  still  forest  meres 
with  gentle  declivities.  Except  in  Jutland,  there  are  no  really 
austere,  rough,  and  virgin  districts,  for  everything  is  subdued,, 
lonely,  and  peaceful.  Sometimes  the  tourist  catches  sight  of  a 
humble  cottage  painted  white,  with  a  thatched  roof  glancing  in. 
the  sunlight  or  showing  itself  with  a  tender  bluish  glimmer  in  the 
dusk.  'The  atmosphere  of  Holland  is  damp  and  misty,  but  in 
Denmark  it  is  fresh  and  cool ;  the  vegetation  in  one  country  is 
rich  and  luxuriant,  in  the  other  of  a  soft,  subdued,  and  rather 
pallid  green.  The  very  sunrise  and  sunset  are  not,  as  in  Norway,, 
gorgeous  and  opulent  in  effect,  but  indecisive,  soothing,  mysterious. 
And  the  artist  surrounded  by  nature  in  this  humour  easily 
becomes  meditative  and  dreamy ;  his  pictures  receive  the  same 
subdued  and  but  faintly  rhythmical  character.  As  a  matter  of 
fact,  a  tinge  of  that  gentle  melancholy  recalling  Cazin  rests  upon 
the  majority  of  Danish  pictures.  It  is  not  reminiscence  or 
plagiarism,  but  a  natural  affinity  of  spirit  with  the  painter  who- 
in  France  rendered  best  the  character  of  Northern  plains,  their 
.  moist,  soft  nature,  the  fading  blue  and  the  grey  of  tender  night,, 
everything  that  is  quiet,  still,  and  veiled.  Faint  colours,  mist  and 
sadness,  grey  weather,  storm  and  rainy  air,  a  short  spring  which 
is  almost  winter,  with  fine  yellowish  verdure  which  looks  as  though 
it  were  still  budding,  such  is  the  character  of  Danish  landscape, 
the  ground-tone  which  goes,  tender  and  discreet,  through  the 
pictures  of  the  younger  Danes.  Each  one  of  them  is  an  in- 
dividuality, and  yet  in  all  they  do  there  is  this  same  soft,  melting 
trait,  and  this  same  low  and  yearning  burden.  Each  one  of  them 
looks  at  nature  with  his  own*  eyes,  but  all  their  works  invariably 
bear  this  same  scrupulously  exact  mark  of  kinship ;  one  recog- 
nizes at  once  that  these  pictures  are  from  the  same  little  native 
land,  the  same  quiet  corner  hidden  between  the  hills. 

Julius  Paulsen  may  be  regarded  as  one  of  the  best  repre- 
sentatives of  this  painting  of  "mood"  in  the  landscapes  of  the 
younger    generation.       It    is    not    possible     to    characterize    his 


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MODERN  PAINTING 


Paulsen:   "Adam  and  Eve/ 


L  TUlg9  photo. 


pictures  with  any  of  the  current  phrases,  nor  to  describe 
them  by  the  stringing  together  of  words,  but  one  becomes 
absorbed  in  them  when  one  meets  them  in  exhibitions,  because 
they  have  such  depth,  a  dreamy  depth  which  does  not  clamour 
for  recognition,  but  reveals  itself  by  degrees.  Peasants'  houses, 
with  wild  vines  gleaming  red  and  green,  rest  beneath  soft 
spreading  beech-trees,  while  the  shadows  creep  slowly  along 
the  walls.  In  the  sky  a  faint  moon  casts  a  tremulous 
band  of  silver  upon  the  grey-green  meadows,  upon  the  still 
vessels  in  the  harbour,  upon  the  wan  shores  lying  in  the 
vaporous  bluish  dusk.  Evening  draws  on.  The  leaves  seem 
asleep  upon  the  trees,  and  nothing  stirs  except  the  lady-birds 
«pon   the   nettles,   and   a   few   shrivelled    leaves   upon   the  grass, 


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DENMARK 


333 


Mnnich :  Hanfstangl.} 


Peterson  Mols  :    **  October.' 


contracting  slightly  beneath  the  rays  of  the  setting  sun.  Or 
there  is  rain,  a  dull  October  evening,  when  the  damp  mist 
clings  to  the  brown  boughs.  Often  he  does  not  paint  actual 
things  at  all,  but  only  their  reflection :  lonely  forest  meres 
imaging  the  forms  and  colours  of  nature  in  uncertain,  rippling, 
tremulous  outlines.  And  this  same  man,  who  is  one  of  the 
most  various  artists  in  Denmark,  renders  in  his  portraits, 
charged  as  they  are  with  character,  the  peculiarities  of  a  head 
no  less  well  than  he  seizes  the  secret  of  a  phase  of  nature  in 
his  landscapes.  This  same  man  is  in  Denmark,  the  land  of 
shame-faced  prudery,  one  of  the  few  who  occasionally  venture 
upon  painting  the  nude.  One  recalls  his  picture  "The  Waiting 
Models,"  and  particularly  his  "  Adam  and  Eve,"  those  two  nude 
figures  in  the  misty  shades  of  the  forest :  Adam  stretching 
his  limbs  as  he  wakes  from  a  dull  slumber,  and  Eve  standing 
in   her   dazzling    beauty,   and   looking   down    upon    him   with   a 


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334  MODERN  PAINTING 

Tialf-sensuous,  half-disdainful  glance.  For  the  present  Paulsen 
would  seem  to  have  reached  a  climax  in  his  "  Cain,"  that 
expressive  figure  turning  over  in  pain  before  the  eye  of  God — 
one  of  the  most  eminent  performances  of  the  young  Danes. 

Knowledge  of  these  men  may  be  most  readily  acquired  in 
Copenhagen  at  "  The  Free  Exhibition,"  as  it  is  called,  a  rival 
of  the  official  Salon  near  Charlottenborg.  This  Art  Union  was 
founded  in  1891  by  some  of  the  youngest  painters,  with  whom 
were  joined,  in  addition  to  Zahrtmann,  Philipsen,  Engelsted, 
Viggo  Pedersen,  and  Paulsen,  the  brothers  Joachim  and  Niels 
Skovgaardy  sons  of  that  admirable  landscape-painter  Peter 
Christian  Skovgaard,  and  both  born  artists.  They  began  as 
landscape-painters,  influenced  by  their  father,  and  executed 
pictures  in  which  the  naturalistic  traditions  of  the  old  Danish 
art  were  continued.  After  that  they  were  both  in  Italy,  and 
brought  from  thence  beautiful  Italian  landscapes  and  charming 
pictures  of  the  life  of  the  people.  Moreover  they  visited  Greece, 
where  they  made  pictorial  studies  after  antique  architecture ;  and 
thus  they  have  both  abundantly  studied  ancient  art  upon  classic 
ground.  After  their  return  they  fell  once  more  to  painting 
naturalistic  landscapes,  and  paint  them  still,  deriving  their 
motives  more  especially  from  Halland  in  the  south  of  Sweden. 
But  incidentally  they  are  following  more  and  more  a  decorative 
style,  novel  in  the  history  of  Danish  painting.  Experiments  in 
pottery  which  they  have  made  together  with  many  other  artists, 
such  as  the  gifted  T/ieodor  Bindesboll,  awakened  their  feeling  for 
the  charm  of  simple  mediums,  and,  in  particular,  the  elder 
brother  Joachim  Skovgaard  has  since  then  aimed  more  often 
at  decorative  than  at  naturalistic  effects  in  his  figure-pieces. 
Several  of  his  biblical  compositions  have  made  a  considerable 
sensation — for  instance,  "The  Angel  at  the  Pool  of  Bethesda," 
a  picture  in  which  the  rushing  movement  of  masses  achieved 
a  peculiarly  telling  effect.  In  "  Christ  as  the  Warder  of  Paradise" 
he  showed  the  influence  of  the  early  Italian  Renaissance,  more 
or  less  indeed  of  Gozzoli,  though  without  a  trace  of  actual 
imitation.  And  the  landscape  especially,  with  the  majestic 
walls   of    Paradise,   bore   witness   to   a   rare   power   of  invention. 


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DENMARK  335 

Both  he  and  his  younger  brother  have  drawn  many  illustrations, 
amongst  which  Niels  Skovgaard*s  drawings  to  the  old  Danish 
ballads  are  particularly  worthy  of  note,  and  show  an  admirable 
sense  of  style.  Both  these  artists  are  characteristic  of  the 
fermentation  which  has  taken  place  in  the  Danish  art  of  recent 
years,  for  which  the  "Free  Exhibition"  has  become  the  inde- 
pendent stage.  An  anti-naturalistic  movement  is  to  be  clearly 
traced  in  all  directions,  and  receives  new  adherents  every  year. 
The  attack  is  made  in  various  ways,  but  all  have  the  same 
object  in  view :  the  attainment  of  a  larger  method  of  conception 
than  that  of  the  older  Danish  painters  of  the  naturalistic  school 
Everywhere  they  seek  the  means  for  carrying  out  this  new 
style.  Skovgaard  is  under  the  influence  of  the  Italians,  others 
under  that  of  the  most  modern  French,  and  even  an  artist 
like  Viggo  Pedersen,  who  would  appear  to  stand  so  much  apart, 
seems  bent  on  breaking  with  his  earlier  manner. 

A  dozen  years  ago  plein-air  painting  was  the  Alpha  and 
Omega  of  young  Danish  artists,  but  amongst  the  youngest  it 
has  already  lost  its  authority.  They  hold  that  art  has  greater 
aims  than  that  of  approaching  nature  as  closely  as  possible,  and 
they  admit  other  subjects  than  those  of  the  naturalists.  After 
Niels  Skovgaard  and  the  veteran  Lorens  Frohlich — one  of  the 
most  gifted  illustrators  of  the  present,  whose  children's  books 
are  familiar  throughout  the  world — had  illustrated  the  old  Danish 
ballads  in  their  drawings,  Mrs,  Agnes  Slott^Moller  for  the  first 
time  attempted  to  treat  them  in  painting,  and  she  has  shown 
in  her  pictures  an  exceedingly  modern  comprehension  of  the 
old  legends.  Her  husband,  Harold  Slott-MoUer,  is  a  man  of 
eminent  talent  as  a  colourist,  and  his  pictures,  "The  Doctor's 
Waiting-Room "  and  the  "  Portrait  of  my  Wife,"  early  assured 
him  a  place  amongst  promising  artists  of  the  younger  genera- 
tion. Later  he  turned  to  decorative  painting,  though  without 
achieving  in  it  anything  so  deservedly  successful  as  the  two 
works  which  have  been  named.  But  the  most  singular  amongst 
all  who  appear  in  "  The  Free  Exhibition "  is  /.  F.  WtUumsen, 
^ho  seems  to  be  gaining  the  importance  of  an  initiator  in 
Danish   art.      He   too — though   he   is   little   more   than   thirty — 


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336  MODERN  PAINTING 

began  as  a  naturalistic  painter,  and  at  first  modelled  himself 
upon  Viggo  Johansen.  A  journey  to  Paris,  where  he  now  lives, 
gave  him  new  impulses.  From  the  most  modern  French  artists 
he  borrowed  many  a  mysterious  formula,  but  they  had  no  power 
to  kill  his  own  strong  and  peculiar  personality.  Willumsen  is- 
still  in  the  experimental  stage;  he  works  in  all  mediums — paints 
and  carves  in  wood,  etches,  and  makes  attempts  in  terra-cotta. 
And  in  all  that  he  does  there  is  the  effort  to  be  simple,  and  to- 
create  an  art  which,  in  opposition  to  Naturalism,  shall  be  purely 
suggestive  in  effect 

Another  man  of  singular  temperament  is  F.  Hamnurshoyy 
a  very  refined  artist  in  the  matter  of  tone-values,  one  who 
envelops  everything  in  a  soft  grey-brown  and  sheds  around  his 
figures  a  mysterious,  transparent  gloom.  Like  Whistler,  he  is 
hyper-sensitive  in  colour.  In  one  of  his  pictures  a  matron  is 
represented  sitting  quietly  before  a  silver-grey  wall ;  in  another  a 
large  round  table  covered  with  white,  and  without  any  accessories 
of  still-life,  stands  in  a  silver-grey  room.  He  has  also  painted 
dreamy,  earnest  portraits,  which  are  full  of  soul  ;  and  highly 
notable  was  his  mysterious  representation  of  "Job."  Amongst 
the  other  contributors  to  *'The  Free  Exhibition,"  honourable 
mention  must  be  made  of  Johan  RoJide^  who  paints  beautiful 
and  moving  landscapes  from  lonely  regions  in  Jutland  ;  Selig- 
mantiy  who  has  an  excellent  talent  for  narration  ;  and  Karl  Jensetiy. 
a  refined  painter  of  architecture.  Together  with  some  of  the 
younger  members  of  the  official  Salon  and  several  of  the  pupils  of 
Zahrtmann,  these  "Free  Exhibitors"  form  the  advance  guard 
of  Danish  art,  a  guard  which,  as  it  seems,  will  assure  their 
little  country  in  the  future  an  important  voice  in  the  European 
alliance  of  art. 


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CHAPTER   XLI 

SWEDEN 

Previous  history  of  Swedish  art. — The  Classicists :  Per  Krafft,  Frederik 
Westin,  Elias  Martin.— Extension  of  the  range  of  subject  through 
Romanticism:  Plageman,  BlomnUr,  Fahlcrantz,  Wilhelm  Palm, 
Egron  Lundgren, — Beginnings  of  a  national  painting  of  the  life 
of  the  people:  Soedermark,  Sandberg,  Dahlstrom,  Per  Wickenberg, 
Karl  Wahlbom,  August  Lindholm,  Amalia  Lindegren,  Nils 
Andersson.—The  DUsseldorfian  period:  Karl  D' Uncker,  Bengt 
Nordenberg,  Wilhelm  Wallander,  Anders  Koskull,  August 
'fern berg,  Ferdinand  Eager lin. — After  the  Paris  World  Exhibition 
of  1867,  instead  of  going  to  DUsseldorf  the  Swedes  repair  to  Paris 
and  Munich. — Period  of  costume-painting  and  colouring  after  the 
old  masters:  Johan  Kristoffer  Boklund,  Johan  Frederik  Hoeckert, 
Marten  Eskil  Winge,  August  Malmstrdm,  Georg  von  Rosen,  Julius 
Kronberg,  Carl  Gustav  Hellquist,  Gustav  Cederstrom,  Nils  Forsberg. 
— The  landscape-painters:  Marcus  Larsson,  Alfred  Wahlberg, 
G,  Rydberg,  Edvard  Bergh,— After  the  Paris  World  Exhibition  of 
1878  the  last  transition y  which  led  the  young  Swedish  artists  to  follow 
the  lines  of  Impressionism,  took  place. — The  Parisian  Swedes :  Hugo 
Salmson,  August  Hagborg,  Vilhelm  van  Gegerfelt,  Karl  Sk&nberg, 
Hugo  Birger. — Those  who  returned  home  became  the  founders  of  a 
new  national  Swedish  art. — Character  of  this  art  compared  with 
the  Danish. — The  landscape-painters :  Per  Eckstrom,  Nils  Kreuger, 
Karl  Nordstrom,  Prince  Eugene,  Robert  ThegerstrOm,  Olof  Arbor elius, 
Axel  Lindmann,  Alfred  Ihdrne,  John  Kindborg,  Johan  Krouthin, 
Adolf  Nordling,  Johan  Ericson,  Edvard  Rosenberg,  Ernst 
Lundstrdm, — The  painters  of  animals :  Wennerberg,  Brandelius, 
Georg  Arsenius,  Bruno  Liljefors. — The  figure-painters:  Axel 
Kulle,  A  If  Wallander,  Axel  Borg,  Johan  Tirin,  Allan  Oesterlind^ 
Oscar  Bj&rck,  Carl  Lars  son,  Ernst  Josephson,  Georg  Pauli^ 
Richard  Bergh,  Anders  Zorn. 


SWEDEN  is  a  land  of  more  fashionable  tastes  than  Denmark, 
and  with  a  more  decided  leaning  towards  France.  In 
Copenhagen  cordiality  and  provincial  simplicity  are  in  the 
ascendant ;  in  Stockholm  frivolity  and  brilliancy,  greater  luxury. 


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338  MODERN  PAINTING 

■elegance  of  toilette,  refined  and  graceful  social  life.  In  Denmark 
one  finds  an  island  of  silence,  a  land  of  idylls,  where  nothing  ever 
happens.  The  inhabitants  are  thoughtful,  dreamy,  bourgeois. 
They  talk  with  a  soft  voice  and  in  a  low  key.  But  the  Swedes 
are  children  of  the  great  world,  always  slender,  elastic,  and  mobile 
in  their  pilgrimage  through  life.  Their  language  rings  bright  and 
•emphatic  ;  it  is  the  French  of  the  North.  All  their  sympathies 
are  proper  to  France.  And  they  are  the  Parisians  of  the  North 
in  their  art  also. 

Where  it  is  genuine,  Danish  painting  has  something  provincial, 
familiar,  homely.  The  new  technique  is  only  a  medium  by  which 
painters  give  expression  to  their  delicate,  discreet  observation,  and 
their  subdued  and  tender  feelings.  Like  the  old  Dutch  masters 
Pieter  de  Hoogh  and  Van  der  Meer,  they  paint  pleasant  and 
-comfortable  chambers,  with  old  sofas  and  slowly  striking  clocks, 
and  the  soft  atmosphere  of  the  sitting-room,  and  the  dim  light  of 
the  lamp.  The  husband  sits  with  his  book  at  the  table,  the 
-children  are  doing  their  exercises,  the  girls  are  playing  the  piano 
and  singing,  and  the  coals  glimmer  in  the  little  iron  stove. 

But  Swedish  painting  is  like  a  polished  man  of  the  world  who 
has  travelled  much.  It  is  more  elegant  and  gleaming,  more 
subtile  and  sensuous,  more  capricious  and  experimental.  The 
young  Stockholm  painters  who  went  to  Paris  chiefly  sought  to 
become  adepts  in  technique,  and  addressed  themselves  with 
astonishing  boldness  to  the  most  novel  problems  in  open-air 
painting.  They  have  not  the  loving  tenderness,  the  touching 
sentiment  of  home  peculiar  to  the  Danes,  but  are  less  characteristic 
and  more  cosmopolitan.  Yet  they  march  in  the  advance  guard 
of  modernity  beside  the  most  subtile  Parisians.  Both  in  their 
colour  and  their  subjects  there  is  a  more  fluent  and  supple  magic, 
a  graceful  and  nervously  vibrating  sweep  which  takes  the  eye 
captive.  They  are  French  in  their  alluring  method ;  they  have  a 
longer  tradition  in  art  than  have  the  Danes,  and  are  more  fully 
citizens  of  the  world. 

Whereas  the  Danish  painters  rarely  left  their  little  country 
before  the  middle  of  the  present  century,  the  Swedes  took  their 
part  in  the  history  of  European  art  even  in  the  eighteenth  century. 


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SWEDEN  339 

In  those  days  a  number  of  enterprising  artists,  with  the  love  of 
travel  in  their  blood,  settled  down  abroad,  divided  their  time 
between  different  courts,  and  finally  abided  where  they  had  the 
greatest  success.  Hedlinger  was  famous  as  an  engraver ;  Georg 
de  Maries  is  well  known  to  students  of  the  history  of  Bavarian 
art ;  Meytens  painted  in  Berlin  ;  Gustav  Lundberg  was  valued  as 
a  painter  of  pastels  in  Paris  ;  Hillestroni^  a  pupil  of  Boucher,  is 
mentioned  with  praise  in  Diderot's  notices  of  the  Salon  for  his 
•**  Triumph  of  Galatea  ; "  Lafrensen^  known  as  Lavreince  in  France* 
occupies  an  important  place  in  the  history  of  the  French  Rococo 
period.  More  than  one  became  a  member  of  the  French  Academy 
and  bore  the  title  Peintre  du  Rot,  Amongst  them  all  the  artist 
possessed  of  most  virti\osity  was  Alexander  Roslin,  who  went 
<t2s\y  abroad,  dividing  his  time  between  the  courts  of  Baireuth, 
Parma,  and  Paris,  where  he  was  immediately  elected  to  the 
Academy,  and  in  several  competitions  even  triumphed  over 
-Greuze.  He  had  the  art  of  arranging  his  pictures  of  ceremonies, 
and  his  solemn  state  canvases,  with  great  aplomb ;  of  these  the 
Stockholm  collection  possesses  the  great  gala  portrait  of  Marie 
Antoinette  and  the  group  of  Gustav  III.  and  his  brothers.  The 
faces,  indeed,  are  occasionally  lifeless.  But  with  all  the  more 
virtuosity  could  he  reproduce  the  mingled  sheen  of  silks  and 
velvet,  embroidery  and  golden  ornaments,  so  that  a  verse  was 
-current  in  Paris : 

**  Qui  a  figure  de  satin 
Doit  bien  itre  peint  far  Roslin.** 

He  built  a  princely  house  there,  and  is  said  to  have  left  behind 
him  a  fortune  of  eight  hundred  thousand  francs. 

The  period  of  Classicism  was  chiefly  represented  by  certain 
sculptors,  and  whoever  delights  in  Thorwaldsen  in  Copenhagen 
should  not  withhold  his  admiration  from  the  Swedes,  Erik  Gustav 
Gothe,  Johan  Nikolas  Bystrom,  and,  more  particularly,  their 
teacher  Johan  Tobias  Sei^el,  who  was  seventeen  years  senior 
to  Canova  and  thirty  years  senior  to  Thorwaldsen  ;  he  was 
in  Stockholm  the  real  founder  of  the  classical  plastic  art,  and 
for  this   reason   alone   deserves   a  more  important   place  in  the 


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340  MODERN  PAINTING 

general  history  of  art  than  has,  as  a  rule,  been  yet  accorded 
to  him. 

In  the  province  of  painting  the  transition  from  the  eighteenth 
to  the  nineteenth  century  was,  as  elsewhere,  a  period  of  decline. 
On  the  exertions  made  earlier  there  followed  debility,  and  a 
stiff  and  monotonous  school  of  painting.  The  animated  colour- 
ing of  the  age  of  Gustav  grew  pallid,  and  the  ascetic  colouring 
of  David  threw  its  grey  shadow  even  into  Sweden.  Priam 
before  Achilles,  Adonis  between  Diana  and  Venus,  Endymion, 
and  Phaedra  and  Electra,  took  possession  of  all  canvases  even 
in  the  North.  The  artist  most  prolific  in  preparing  such  ideal 
figures  was  Per  Krafft,  who,  having  acquired  in  the  beginning 
of  the  century  a  severe  style  of  drawing  and  indifferent 
colouring  under  David,  made  an  imposing  effect  in  his  native 
country  on  the  score  of  his  "grand  style."  Frederik  Westin, 
the  academician  incarnate,  who  could  not  conceive  any  picture 
which  had  not  yellowish-brown,  leather-coloured  bodies,  goes 
upon  lines  more  or  less  parallel  with  Gerard  and  Girodet,  to 
whose  suave  ornamentation  he  gave  a  barbaric  turn,  though  he 
has  also  executed  shiny  portraits  in  the  style  of  Josef  Stieler. 
The  gospel  of  stiff,  Classical  landscape-painting  was  announced 
by  Elias  Martin,  And  if  the  portrait-painter  Karl  Frederik 
von  Breda  is  painter  in  a  far  higher  degree,  he  owes  this  to 
having  worked  for  a  long  time  under  Reynolds  and  Lawrence, 
to  whose  principles  he  adhered  to  the  end  of  his  life. 

Here,  as  elsewhere.  Romanticism  extended  the  range  of 
subject,  and  led  to  a  restoration  in  the  matter  of  colour.  Artists 
sought  to  put  life  into  the  Northern  mythology ;  they  set  landscape 
free  from  the  Classical  scheme,  attempted  to  give  their  work  a 
religious  tinge  like  the  Nazarenes,  or  hurried  through  Italy  and 
the  East  in  search  of  pictorial  themes. 

The  Swedish  Nazarene  was  Karl  Plageman,  A  dreamy 
man,  with  large  visionary  eyes,  he  lived  by  emotion,  and  in 
Italy,  which  became  his  home  from  183 1,  he  was  to  such  a  degree 
intoxicated  with  the  mysticism  of  Catholic  churches,  and  the 
splendour  of  altar-pieces,  that  from  sheer  reverence  for  the  old 
masters  he  never  succeeded  in  producing  anything  that  he  could 


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SWEDEN  341 

really  call  his  own.  *•  The  dead,"  said  he,  "  have  kindled  my 
emotions,  and  it  is  the  dead  who  shall  be  my  teachers."  Like 
Overbeck,  he  reckoned  the  period  from  Cimabue  to  Perugino 
as  the  flourishing  age  of  art,  and,  indeed,  his  religious  pictures 
are  by  no  means  inept  imitations  of  the  old  models. 

Nils  Johan  Blommir  stands  to  Plageman  as  Schwind  to 
Overbeck.  Since  he  died,  as  early  as  1853,  ^^  the  age  of  six- 
and-thirty,  he  has  left  but  few  pictures  to  bear  witness  to  his 
dreamy  spirit  and  his  wealth  of  feeling,  but,  like  those  of  Schwind, 
they  are  certain  of  immortality.  Blommdr's  works  proceeded 
from  a  soft,  poetic,  and  thoroughly  Northern  sentiment.  "The 
chief  thing  in  a  work  of  art,'*  he  writes,  "is  soul.  I  want  to 
represent  what  lives  in  the  poetry  of  our  people,  all  the  figures 
which  belong  neither  to  definite  ages  nor  definite  poets,  but 
rather  constitute  the  natural  expression  of  our  nation,  standing, 
as  such,  in  the  closest  union  with  the  character  of  our  Swedish 
race."  So,  like  Schwind,  he  peopled  the  landscape  of  his  native 
country  with  the  creatures  of  Northern  folk-songs.  But  he  had 
not  the  strength  to  find  the  cogent  form  for  the  misty  visions 
of  his  imagination,  or  to  give  new  bodies  to  the  figures  of  the 
Northern  sagas,  which  had  never  yet  been  represented.  And 
in  this  he  resembled  the  contemporary  sculptor  Fogelberg.  But 
it  is  an  evidence  of  fine  tact  that  he  did  not  follow  Fogelberg 
in  merely  reproducing  the  antique,  but  attempted  a  more  romantic 
treatment  of  these  myths  in  the  style  of  the  Midsummer  Nights 
Dreamy  in  the  style  of  Cranach,  Francia,  or  the  old  Umbrians  ; 
and  in  this  way  he  preserved  the  childlike  spirit  which  is  in  the 
youthful  visions  of  the  Northern  nationalities.  Like  Schwind 
again,  Blomm^r  had  a  thoughtful,  meditative,  artistic  temperament 
to  which  everything  dramatic  and  violent  was  alien.  Even  when  he 
handled  the  myths  of  the  gods,  the  gloomy  fancies  of  the  Northern 
sagas  made  no  appeal  to  his  mild  and  yielding  disposition.  It 
was  not  with  the  mighty  Thor  that  he  was  occupied,  not  with 
the  tempest  raging  across  the  sea,  nor  with  the  desolation  of 
great  and  wild  mountains.  But  in  Freia  and  Sigyn  he  glorified 
love  and  beauty,  the  devotion  and  patience  of  woman,  as  Schwind 
4id    in   Aschenbrodel   and   "  The    Faithful    Sister,"   and    pictures 


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342  MODERN  PAINTING 

like  "The  Youth  and  the  Elves"  or  "Neckan's  Sport  with  the 
Mermaids  **  echo  so  tenderly  the  simple,  cordial  tone  of  the  old 
folk-song  that  for  the  sake  of  this  touching  and  homely  charm, 
the  inadequate  and  nugatory  painting  is  forgotten. 

The  Swedish  Lessing  was  Karl  Johan  Fahkrantz,  As  a  land- 
scapist  he  gave  typical  expression  to  the  enthusiasm  for  nature 
introduced  by  Romanticism,  and  rendered  in  an  exaggerated 
fashion  its  glory  and  splendour  or  its  minatory  gloom,  the 
melancholy  sadness  of  the  Northern  winter  or  the  peaceful 
mildness  of  the  spring.  At  times  hie  displays  valleys  with  old 
oaks,  between  which  the  light  falls  in  broad  bands  upon  the 
soft  grass,  at  times  steel-blue  lakes  in  a  clear  golden  atmosphere 
and  with  vessels  whose  sails  gleam  in  all  the  hues  of  the  prism^ 
at  times  shadowy  groves  and  rocky  dunes  overgrown  with  huge 
immemorial  trees.  Fahlcrantz  idealized  nature,  intensified  effects- 
of  light,  and  arranged  fragments  of  Ruysdael  and  Everdingen 
in  fantastic  compositions.  Under  his  hands  the  Stockholm  Park 
is  populated  with  fabulous  animals  and  deep  hollows,  which 
give  it  the  appearance  of  a  "Wolf's  Glen."  His  trees  are  of 
an  undetermined  species,  his  sky  rosy,  his  colours  warm  and 
toned  to  an  excessively  dark  shade.  Yet,  at  times,  when  he 
forgot  the  necessity  for  a  most  arbitrary  romantic  exaggera- 
tion, his  pictures  have  really  a  dreamy  poetry,  and  fully 
render  the  sentiment  intended  by  the  painter. 

Gustav  Wilhelni  Palm^  in  his  later  years  called  Palma 
Vecchio^  might  be  most  readily  compared  with  the  French 
Michallon  or  with  Paul  Flandrin.  Italy  was  almost  exclusively 
his  field  of  study.  To  a  strained  method  of  composition  and 
arrangement  he  united  a  certain  realistic  capacity  for  painting 
detail,  which  did  not  solely  aim  at  representing  "  the  tree  in  itself" 
after  the  fashion  of  the  Classicists  proper,  but  differentiated  the 
character  of  vegetation  with  scientific  accuracy.  His  olives, 
pines,  flowers,  and  grasses  are  painted  thoroughly  with  a  fine 
brush  and  are  true  to  botany ;  and  thus,  fifty  years  ago,  they 
enjoyed  a  fame  which  it  is  now  difficult  to  understand.  And 
this  careful,  loving  regard  for  nature,  scrupulous  to  the  point 
of    Philistinism    though    it   was,    in    combination    with   a  harsh,. 


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SWEDEN  345 

motley  scale  of  colour,  which  was  nevertheless  selected  with  an 
eye  to  truth,  was  still  peculiar  to  him  when,  after  an  absence  of 
sixteen  years,  he  returned  home,  and,  besides  Italian  motives,, 
sometimes  painted  little  Northern  landscapes,  architectural  frag- 
ments from  the  old  Stockholm  port  and  the  cloisters  of  Wisby. 

Egron  Lundgren  was  the  Swedish  Fromentin — a  cosmopolitan 
who  extended  his  field  of  study  as  far  as  India,  an  artist 
spirited  in  improvization,  and  a  gourmet  in  colour,  one  whose 
coquettish  art,  like  that  of  the  Frenchman,  was  half  an  affair 
of  reality,  half  of  mannerism.  His  pictures  of  the  life  of  the 
Italian  people,  such  as  the  **  Corpus  Domini  Procession "  of 
1847,  might,  with  their  piquant  effects  of  colour,  have  been 
painted  by  the  side  of  Decamp.  But  his  peculiar  province  he 
first  discovered  when  he  came  to  Barcelona  and  was  there 
attracted  by  the  life  of  the  Spanish  people.  His  aquarelles 
from  Spain — he  was  a  member  of  the  Society  of  Painters  in 
Water-Colours — are  exceedingly  spirited  fantasies,  which  have 
always  the  air  of  lightness  and  improvization.  As  he  had  the 
secret  of  giving  the  sentiment  of  a  landscape  with  a  few  strokes,, 
so  he  could  catch  the  character  and  movement  of  a  figure 
with  an  impressionistic  aptitude.  A  highly  bred  and  wealthy 
man,  he  made  London  his  headquarters  throughout  his  life, 
turning  up  sometimes  in  Italy,  sometimes  in  Spain  or  India,, 
upon  pilgrimages  of  study. 

National  and  domestic  life  was  turned  to  account  as  gradu^ 
ally  and  diffidently  in  Swedish  art  as  in  that  of  other  countries. 
Here  also  it  was  military  painting  that  made  a  beginning.  A 
few  artists,  who  had  at  one  time  been  officers,  had  exercised 
upon  the  drill-ground  a  keener  eye  for  the  characteristic 
phenomena  of  modern  life  than  the  professional  painters  had 
done  in  the  plaster-cast  class  of  the  Academy  ;  and  they  were 
the  first  to  draw,  with  a  plain  and  dry  realism,  scenes  from  the 
world  of  soldiers  or  comic  anecdotes  dealing  with  the  people. 
Some  of  them,  like  Wetterling  and  Moemer,  did  not  get  beyond 
the  stage  of  dilettantism.  On  the  other  hand,  Olof  Soedemiarky 
who  pursued  his  studies  in  Munich  and  Rome,  reached  a 
creditable   level.      The    pictures    from    Swedish    history — battles 


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344  MODERN  PAINTING 

and  parades,  the  victories  of  Carl  Johan  and  the  doings  of 
Bernadotte — which  these  men  painted  in  concert  in  the  Castle 
of  Stockholm,  are  rather  military  bulletins  than  works  of  art, 
and  stand,  artistically  considered,  more  or  less  on  an  equality 
with  the  battle-pieces  with  which  Peter  Hess  and  Albrecht 
Adam  embellished  the  Castle  at  Munich :  Soedermark,  however, 
displayed  real  merits  in  a  series  of  excellent  portraits — those,  for 
instance,  of  Frederika  Bremen  and  Jenny  Lind — and  his  portraits 
drove  out  the  classic  wax  dolls  of  Westin,  which  had  been 
hitherto  in  favour. 

Two  others,  Johan  Gustav  Sandberg  and  K,  A.  Dahlstrom, 
who  also  contributed  to  the  cycle  of  battle-pieces  and  historical 
pictures,  in  the  further  course  of  their  labours  went  from  the 
uniform  to  the  peasant's  blouse.  Their  works,  like  those  of  old 
Meyerheim,  are  not  so  much  pictures  of  peasants  as  costume- 
pictures.  Sandberg  especially  was  occupied  far  less  frequently 
witji  human  beings  than  with  their  Sunday  clothes,  and  confined 
himself — when,  for  example,  he  painted  the  unveiling  of  •  the 
statue  to  Gustav  Vasa — simply  to  a  coloured  memorandum  of 
all  the  Swedish  provincial  costumes  from  Skouen  to  Lapland. 
Dahlstrom,  who  only  died  in  1869,  seems  plainer  and  more 
animated  in  his  pictures  of  children,  fishermen,  and  beggars. 
It  was  chiefly  owing  to  his  influence  that  the  heroic  range  ot 
subjects  was  abandoned,  and  that  Swedish  painting  was  made 
familiar  with  its  own  period  and  with  Swedish  people. 

Per  Wickenberg^  who  received  an  impulse  from  him,  goes, 
more  or  less,  upon  parallel  lines  with  Hermann  Kauffmann  and 
Biirkel.  His  misty  winter  landscapes,  filled  in  with  peasants  or 
fishermen,  are  good,  honest  works,  simple,  sound,  and  fresh, 
although,  like  the  pictures  of  BUrkel,  they  are  not  so  much  based 
upon  direct  observation  as  upon  a  thorough  study  of  the  old 
Dutch  masters  Isaias  van  der  Velde  and  Isaak  Ostade. 

The  Swedish  Steffeck  was  Karl  Wahlbom,  He  painted 
peasant-pictures  in  the  manner  of  Teniers,  pictures  from  Swedish 
history,  and  especially  horses,  which  he  placed  boldly  and  vividly 
in  actual  movement  But  the  most  attractive  effect  is  produced 
by  Lorenz  August  Lindholm^  who   made  an  intelligent  study  of 


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SWEDEN  345 

Cerard  Dow  and  Metsu,  during  a  long  residence  in  Holland. 
From  the  one  he  learnt  his  conscientious  work  of  detail,  and 
from  the  other  he  gradually  acquired  full  and  vigorous  colour, 
his  own  having  been  brown  and  arid  in  the  beginning.  His 
interiors  are  simple,  quiet  pictures,  sympathetic  in  observation 
and  conscientious  in  the  minuteness  of  the  painting,  the  subjects 
being  grandmothers*  birthdays,  peasants  smoking  or  playing 
-cards,  boys  reading,  or  little  girls  holding  a  skein  for  their 
mothers. 

With  her  unpretentious  representations  of  the  joy  of  children, 
the  smiling  happiness  of  parents,  sorrow  resigned,  and  childish 
stubbornness,  Amalia  Lindegren  attained  great  national  popu- 
larity, for  without  being  a  connoisseur  it  is  possible  to  take 
pleasure  in  the  fresh  children's  faces  in  her  pictures. 

Nils  Andersson  took  up  the  theme  where  Dahlstrom  had 
•dropped  it,  and  carried  it  further  with  better  equipment  Barren^ 
stony  hills,  with  low,  scanty  bushes,  fir-woods,  and  desolate,  snowy 
landscapes  form  the  background  of  his  works,  in  which  men 
and  animals  are  seen  at  their  labours.  He  painted  nature  and 
the  folk  of  his  home  without  humour  or  poetic  varnish,  not  the 
people  on  Sunday,  but  their  ordinary  work-a-day  life.  In  this 
unforced  and  natural  homeliness  lies  his  strength.  The  colouring 
of  his  pictures  is  thin  and  clumsy,  the  execution  tortured  and 
laborious. 

Such  essentially  was  the  result  of  the  evolution  of  Swedish 
art  up  to  1850.  Sweden  had  individual  painters,  but  no  trained 
school.  Sounds  were  to  be  heard,  but  as  yet  there  was  no  full 
•chime.  But  the  ambition  to  do  as  other  nations  was  growing 
•stronger,  and  to  attain  this  end  systematic  study  abroad  was  a 
necessity.  Dusseldorf,  whither  the  Norwegian  Tidemand  had 
already  shown  the  way,  had  a  special  fame,  and  became  from 
1850  the  high-school  for  Swedish  art.  In  1855  no  l^ss  than  thirty 
Swedes  were  entered  at  the  Dusseldorf  Academy,  and  the 
'"  Northern  Society "  which  they  founded  soon  became  a  factor 
in  the  artistic  life  of  the  place. 

Yet  these  painters  have  nothing  specifically  Swedish.  Their 
art  is  Dusseldorf  art  with  Swedish  landscapes  and  costumes,  and 

VOL.   III.  23 


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346  MODERN  PAINTING 

thus  they  differ  to  their  disadvantage  from  contemporary  Danes, 
Vermehren,  Exner,  and  Dalsgaard  based  their  art  upon  an 
intimate  knowledge  of  their  own  country ;  the  heart  of  the 
people  is  throbbing  there,  the  pulse  of  vigorous  national  life. 
But  Karl  HUncker,  Bengt  Nordenberg,  Wilhelm  Wallanderr 
Anders  Koskull,  Kilian  Zoll,  Peter  Eskilson,  August  Jemberg, 
and  Ferdinand  Fagerlin  contented  themselves  with  translating 
Knaus  and  Vautier  into  Swedish.  The  Danes  were  tender  and 
cordial  poets,  but  these  men  merely  gave  a  dry  course  of  in- 
struction on  habits  and  customs  in  Swedish  villages.  The  former 
rendered  plain,  naive,  and  direct  fragments  of  everyday  life ;  the 
latter  studiously  composed  pictures  for  the  best  sitting-room. 
Foreign  patrons  of  art  did  not  exact  intimacy  of  feeling,  but 
understood  types  all  the  better  the  more  general  they  were. 
They  were  indifferent  to  the  poetry  of  daily  life  in  the  North  ^ 
it  was  only  anecdote  and  the  ethnographical  element  which  met 
with  their  approbation.  And  as  the  art  of  every  country  must 
use  its  own  language,  and  a  painting  of  national  life  presupposes- 
intimate  union  between  the  painter  and  the  nation,  it  can  only 
be  said  that,  at  this  period,  the  scales  had  not  yet  fallen  from- 
men's  eyes. 

In  the  matter  of  technique  the  results  were  likewise  paltry. 
All  these  painters  were  anecdotists  and  novel-writers.  Their 
compositions,  indeed,  are  well  balanced  and  studiously  calculated. 
Every  figure  has  something  special  to  express,  and,  as  in  Hogarth^ 
a  multitude  of  small  attributes  serve  to  throw  light  upon  each 
character ;  and  this  character,  needless  to  say,  must  always  be 
that  of  a  nicely  brought  up  person,  and  incapable  of  giving 
offence  in  the  drawing-room.  So  wherever  a  little  tale  was  told 
in  a  pleasant,  intelligible  fashion  adapted  for  the  sitting-room,, 
the  painter's  aim  was  attained,  and  the  method  of  colour  was 
a  matter  of  subsidiary  importance.  The  painting  of  a  portion 
of  nature  with  the  mere  intention  of  expressing  a  harmony  of 
colour  was  a  thing  which  did  not  lie  within  the  programme  of 
these  painters.  All  their  pictures  are  stronger  in  anecdote  than 
in  painting.  The  drawing  has  no  character,  and  the  work  of  the 
brush  is  amateurish.     And  here,  as  elsewhere,  the  same  reaction* 


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SWEDEN  347 

took  place  :  the  fund  of  ideas  was  exhausted,  and  the  painting 
did  not  improve.  But  the  Paris  International  Exhibition  of 
1867  signed  the  death-sentence  of  the  old  Dusseldorf  school. 
Through  Piloty  the  Munich  school  began  to  influence  the 
handling  of  colours  in  Germany.  Knaus  had  gone  to  Paris  to- 
acquire  in  that  city  what  Dusseldorf  could  not  give  him.  And 
from  that  time  Sweden  likewise  became  conscious  that  the 
academy  on  the  Rhine  was  no  longer  its  proper  ground.  In  the 
letters  of  the  academy  exhibitioners  complaints  of  the  antiquated 
principles  of  teaching  began  to  be  made,  and  what  Dusseldorf 
had  been  for  the  earlier  generation  Paris  and  Munich  became 
for  that  which  followed. 

The  reign  of  Karl  XV. — who  invariably  advanced  the  interests 
of  art  and  artists,  with  thorough  good-will  and  an  open  purse — 
was  for  Swedish  painting  what  the  period  from  Piloty  to 
Makart,  from  Diez  to  Lofftz,  had  been  for  the  people  of 
Munich.  The  old  masters  were  studied,  and  an  attempt  was 
made  to  acquire  an  artistic  style  of  painting  by  their  aid.  And 
as  the  sleights  of  the  pallet  are  practised  most  effectively  upon 
the  variegated  costumes  of  the  past,  historical  and  costume- 
pictures  were  at  first  placed  in  the  foreground.  By  the  painting 
of  hose,  mantles,  and  cloaks  the  artist  came  to  liberate  himself 
from  anecdotic  subject  and  to  gain  a  sense  of  the  pictorial. 

The  man  who  acted  as  a  medium  for  these  principles  was 
the  Swedish  Piloty,  Johan  Kristoffer  Boklund,  a  pupil  of  the 
Munich  Academy  and  of  Couture.  The  subjects  treated  in  his 
pictures  were  German,  and  the  style  of  painting,  which  was 
French,  was  admired  by  the  younger  generation  in  the  same 
way  as  Piloty's  style  in  "  Seni "  was  regarded  with  wondering^ 
admiration  by  Munich  people.  Boklund  painted  costume- 
pictures:  Gustavus  Adolphus  taking  leave  of  Maria  Eleonora,. 
Doctor  Faust  amid  globes  and  folios,  pale  choristers  with  censers, 
antiquaries  surrounded  by  dusty  books.  There  were  also 
picturesque  architectural  motives  from  Tyrol ;  he  delighted  in 
churches,  cloisters,  and  farms,  peopling  them  with  mercenaries^ 
plundering  soldiers,  outposts,  and  marauders.  But  in  everything 
he  did  he  laboured  to  attain  a  picturesque   harmony,  a  graceful 


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348 


MODERN  PAINTING 


L'Art,] 


HoECKERT :    "  Divine  Service  in  Lapland." 


[Milita  »c. 


Style  of  treatment,  and  he  exerted  from  1855  a  wide  influence 
on  the  younger  generation  as  teacher  at  the  academy. 

These  efforts  in  colouring  found  their  most  notable  expression 
in  Johan  Frederik  Hoeckert.  He  was  a  genuine  painter,  the 
first  in  Sweden  who  saw  the  world  with  the  eyes  of  an  artist 
As  a  restless,  searching  spirit,  never  contented  with  himself,  he 
had  run  through  all  schools  and  beheld  all  countries.  From 
1846  he  was  with  Boklund  in  Munich,  from  1851  with  Knaus 
in  Paris.  In  Holland  a  great  effect  upon  him  was  made  by 
Rembrandt,  and  the  letters  which  he  wrote  from  Italy  and 
Spain  are  those  of  a  real  painter.  Tunis,  where  he  went  in 
1862,  he  calls  the  most  marvellous  magical  kaleidoscope  in  the 
world,  and  Naples  an  inexhaustible  treasury  of  art  both  in 
painted  and  in  unpainted  pictures. 

And  though  Hoeckert  has  not  produced  much,  every  one  of 
his  pictures  is  good.  His  "  Divine  Service  in  Lapland " — 
eighteen  men  and  women  listening  to  the  words  of  a  preacher 
in   a   bare  village   chapel — won    the    first    medal    at    the    Paris 


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SWEDEN  34^ 

World  Exhibition  of  1857,  and  was  acquired  for  the  museum 
in  Lille.  Some  of  the  critics  went  so  far  as  to  compare  him 
with  Delacroix.  But  such  comparison  is  certainly  to  be 
understood  with  considerable  qualification.  Hoeckert  has  none 
of  the  glowing  violent  passion  of  the  revolutionary  ;  he  is  a 
lyric  poet  and  no  dramatist,  and  knows  nothing  of  ecstasy^ 
nothing  of  tension.  Nevertheless  his  pictures  were  the  boldest 
that  had  been  yet  painted  in  Sweden.  The  "  Interior  of  a 
Lapland  Hut" — exhibited  in  1857  ^"^  the  Paris  Salon,  and 
obtained  for  the  Stockholm  National  Museum  in  1858— in  its 
fine  golden  tone  might  have  been  painted  by  Ostade.  Certain 
of  bis  interiors,  with  their  glancing  sunlight,  their  open  doors, 
and  the  warm  daylight  flooding  into  the  dim  room,  are  evidence 
of  the  fervent  study  he  had  made  of  Pieter  de  Hoogh.  And 
all  the  motives  of  genre  painting  are  scrupulously  excluded. 
Hoeckert*s  "golden  colour"  steeps  everything  in  the  sentiment 
of  an  old-world  tale.  That  charming  costume-picture,  "  Bellman 
in  Sergei's  Studio,"  in  its  full,  deep  tones  has  a  dash  of  the 
good  youthful  works  of  Roybet.  And  his  last  picture,  exhibited 
shortly  before  his  death  in  1866,  "The  Burning  of  the  Castle 
of  Stockholm,"  was  not  painted  as  an  historical  document^ 
but  only  for  the  sake  of  the  vivid  reflections  which  the 
blaze  had  cast  upon  the  old  costumes.  Hoeckert,  in  fact^ 
was  the  first  in  Sweden  who  was  neither  a  genre  nor  an 
historical  painter,  but  painter  absolute.  That  is  what  assures 
him  an  important  place  in  the  history  of  art. 

Marten  Eskil  Winge  attempted  more  than  it  was  given 
him  to  attain :  in  Swedish  painting  he  is  the  man  of  large 
figures  and  large  canvases.  Settled  in  Rome  up  to  1865,  he 
held  in  chief  honour  Giulio  Romano,  Daniele  da  Volterra, 
Caravaggio,  and  other  muscular  Italians  of  the  sixteenth  and 
seventeenth  centuries,  and  he  sought  to  adapt  their  superhuman 
forms  to  the  figures  in  the  Northern  sagas.  One  of  these 
gigantic  pictures,  for  the  preparation  of  which  he  hired  the 
biggest  studio  in  Stockholm,  repesents  Loke  and  Sigyn — in 
other  words,  a  black-haired  Titan  a  la  Caravaggio  and  a  blond 
woman  a  la  Riedel.     As  he  portrayed  in  this  picture  love  and 


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3SO  MODERN  PAINTING 

patience  facing  wickedness  and  cunning,  in  "Thor's  Combat 
with  the  Giants"  he  wished  to  set  forth  the  power  of  light 
struggling  against  the  powers  of  darkness.  Flashes  of  lightning 
dart  forth,  while  the  thunder-god  raging  lays  about  him  with 
his  battle-hammer,  smiting  the  giants  to  the  earth.  Giulio 
Romano  was  his  model,  but  the  result  he  attained  was  a  cross 
between  Wiertz  and  Hendrih. 

A  further  representative  of  this  Northern  tendency,  August 
Malmstrom,  has  more  of  a  leaning  towards  the  milder  manner  of 
Blommdr.  His  very  first  picture,  painted  in  Dusseldorf  in  1856, 
"King  Heimer  and  Aslog"  (a  bardic  harper  with  a  boy  in  a 
spring  landscape),  was  the  work  of  a  tender,  dreamy  Romanticist ; 
and,  after  a  long  residence  in  Paris  under  Couture,  he  continued 
to  paint  such  subjects,  and  with  greater  technical  aptitude.  His 
^'  Sport  of  the  Elves  "  is  a  delicate  summer-night's  dream.  Every- 
thing in  nature  is  still,  the  sky  is  veiled,  and  the  horizon  alone 
is  flooded  with  the  glow  of  a  warm  sunset  A  light  mist  rises 
from  the  meadow  enveloping  the  elves,  who  are  romping  in  airy 
gambols.  As  was  shown  by  his  illustrations  to  the  Frithjof's 
Saga,  made  in  1868,  Malmstrbm  moved  with  great  ease  in  the 
province  of  Northern  legend,  and  from  these  mythical  pictures 
he  was  finally  led  to  breezy  representations  of  the  life  of 
children,  which  will  probably  do  most  to  preserve  his  name. 

The  importance  of  Georg  von  Rosen  lies  in  his  bringing  the 
Swedes  to  a  knowledge  of  the  archaic  finesses  of  Hendrik  Leys, 
after  they  had  made  acquaintance  with  Couture  and  Piloty. 
The  son  of  a  rich  man,  who  had  an  influential  position  in 
Stockholm  as  the  builder  of  the  Swedish  railways,  Georg  von 
Rosen  had  early  an  opportunity  of  visiting  all  the  leading 
studios  of  the  world.  From  Paris,  where  he  passed  his  child- 
hood, he  went  to  Stockholm,  and  thence  to  Weimar  and 
Brussels.  Even  in  the  beginning  of  the  sixties,  when  he  ex- 
hibited his  earliest  pictures—"  Sten  Sture's  Entry  in  Stockholm," 
"  Wine-tasting  at  the  Monastery  Gate,"  and  "  A  Swedish  Marriage 
in  the  Sixteenth  Century" — every  one  was  delighted  by  the 
refinement  and  authenticity  of  his  portrayal  of  archaic  civiliza- 
tion.    And  after  he  had  painted  his  "  King  Eric,"  under  Piloty 


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SWEDEN 


351 


Sioekkolm  :  Bonnur.] 

Rosen  :  "  King  Eric  in  Prison  visited  by  Karin  Mansdotter.** 

in  Munich  in  1870,  he  was  made  professor  at  the  Stockholm 
Academy,  undertaking  the  direction  of  it  after  Boklund*s  death 
in   1 88 1. 

Rosen  seems  very  unequal  in  his  works.  "King  Eric  in  the 
Chamber  of  his  Beloved,  Karin  Mansdotter,"  is  one  of  the  most 
thorough  products  of  the  school  of  Piloty,  and  might  just  as 
well  be  a  representation  of  Egmont  with  Clarchen.  The  pendant 
to  it  in  the  Copenhagen  Gallery,  "  King  Eric  in  Prison  visited  by 
Karin  Mansdotter,"  has  in  its  tender  melancholy  a  certain  trace 
-of  Fritz  August .  Kaulbach.  On  the  other  hand,  his  etchings 
and  water-colours  from  the  sixteenth  century  are  entirely  archaic 
in  the  manner  of  Leys ;  these  have  caught  most  admirably  the 
stiff  and  angular  character  of  the  period,  its  rude  exterior  and 
its  patriarchal  cordiality,  following  the  Bauembrueghels,  Lucas 
Aran  Leyden,  Cranach,  and  the  German  "little  masters."  Here 
Death  is  embracing  a  girl,  as  in  Baldung's  woodcut     There  Faust 


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352 


MODERN  PAINTING 


[HanfsMngl  Mio, 
Rosen  :   Nordenskjold. 


and  Wagner  are  walking 
outside  the  town  with 
the  poodle  making  circles 
round  them,  or  Luther  is 
translating  the  Bible  upon 
the  Wartburg.  "  The 
Bridal  Train,"  that  makes 
its  way  through  the  nar- 
row alley  of  an  old  town 
of  the  Empire,  with  drums 
beating  in  the  van,  and 
the  banners  of  the  old 
guilds,  and  children  strew- 
ing flowers;  "The  Flower 
Market"  before  the  old 
Gothic  town-hall ;  "  Grand- 
father's Birthday,"  with  the 
pretty  Nuremberg  girls  of 
gentle  birth  adorning  the 
great     Renaissance     table 


with  flowers ;  "  The  Christmas  Market,"  with  the  wedded  couple 
who  have  bought  their  Christmas-tree  —  they  seem  to  have 
stepped  out  of  the  poems  of  Julius  Wolff — the  snowy  gables, 
and  the  atmosphere  fragrant  with  pine-needles  and  Christmas 
cakes, — they  are,  one  and  all,  winning  and  genuine  pictures  of 
the  "good  old  time."  In  his  Eastern  studies,  to  which  he 
was  prompted  by  a  journey  through  Egypt,  Palestine,  Turkey^ 
and  Greece,  he  appears  as  a  sober  realist,  who  addresses  him- 
self to  the  motley  orgies  of  colour  known  to  the  South  with 
deftness  and  energy ;  and  this  realism  has  found  its  most  vivid 
and  powerful  expression  in  his  likenesses.  That  of  his  father 
reveals  an  old  cavalier  full  of  character  such  as  Herkomer  might 
have  painted ;  his  portrait  of  himself  in  the  Florentine  Ufiizi 
galleries  recalls  Erdtelt.  In  his  state  pictures  of  Karl  XV.  and 
King  Oscar  he  avoids  everything  official,  giving  a  sturdy  and 
honest  likeness  of  the  man.  But  his  best  portrait  is  probably 
that  of  Nordenskjold,  the  discoverer  of  the  North-East  Passage. 


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SWEDEN 


353 


Beneath  a  gloomy,  clouded  sky, 
amid  the  great  wastes  of  ice  of 
the  Siberian  Sea,  gleaming  white 
and  green,  there  stands  a  robust 
masculine  figure,  enveloped  in 
dark  fur,  with  a  telescope  in 
his  hand,  gazing  with  keen, 
earnest  eyes  into  the  distance, 
which  reveals  to  him  nothing 
except  endless  plains  of  ever- 
Icisting  ice. 

In  Julius  Kronberg  Swedish 
painting  does  honour  to  its 
Makart.  He  had  learnt  to 
love  the  old  Venetians  in  Diis- 
seldorf,  Paris,  and  Munich, 
and  under  their  guidance  he 
became  a  powerful  master  revel- 
ling in  colour.  His  "Nymph," 
painted  in  1879  in  Munich, 
lying  asleep  by  a  forest  pool 
weary  with  the  chase,  and 
there  spied  upon  by  fauns, 
was  a  vigorous  bravura  piece 
a  la  Benczur,  executed  with  a  gorgeous,  brownish-red,  lustrous, 
bituminous  painting.  The  voluptuous  body  of  the  red-haired 
huntress  rests  upon  a  yellow  drapery.  Her  spoils,  peacocks 
with  metallic  blue  breasts  and  pheasants  with  iridescent 
brownish-red  plumage,  lie  at  her  feet ;  luxuriant  Southern 
vegetation  gleams  around,  and  above  there  shines  a  strip  of 
deep  blue  Venetian  sky. 

Later  in  Rome  he  painted  the  seasons,  blooming  women 
hastening  through  the  air  borne  along  by  swans  and  accom- 
panied by  rejoicing  Loves ;  smiling  they  strew  roses  and  fruits 
upon  the  earth.  The  "  Visit  of  the  Queen  of  Sheba  to  King 
Solomon  "  he  worked  up  into  a  gorgeous  scenical  piece  in  the 
style  of  Meininger.     A  journey  to  Egypt  brought  the  beautiful 


Stockholm:  BoMtiur,] 

Kronberg:   "A  Nymph." 


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354  MODERN  PAINTING 

serpent  Cleopatra  to  his  mind,  and  prompted  him  to  paint  his 
picture  "The  Death  of  Cleopatra,"  which,  in  its  half  romantic, 
half  classical  conception,  might  be  the  work  of  Rochegrosse.  In 
the  house  which  Kronberg  built  for  himself,  splendour  of  colour, 
pleasure,  and  sportive  exuberance  were  everywhere  predominant 
Like  Makart,  he  has  summoned  the  world  of  Loves  and  Bacchantes 
into  life  once  more;  nor  are  they  pale  and  bloodless,  but  fresh, 
robust,  and  clothed  in  brilliant  colours  and  the  sumptuous  beauty 
of  youth.  As  in  the  Viennese  master,  the  historical  subject  is 
merely  an  excuse  for  encompassing  a  great  pictorial  whole.  And, 
like  Makart,  he  has  done  his  best  in  decorative  pictures.  His 
large  ceiling-pieces  in  the  Castle  of  Stockholm — an  Aurora  and 
a  Svea  amid  the  allegorical  figures  of  Agriculture,  Industry,  and 
Art — are  blithe  and  festal  decorations,  only  distinguishable  from 
those  of  Makart  through  Kronberg  making  a  gradual  transition, 
in  accordance  with  the  tendency  of  the  time,  from  the  .brown 
tone  of  his  Munich  period  to  brighter  notes  of  colour. 

Carl  Gustav  Hellquist^  who  was  somewhat  younger  than  the 
foregoing  painters,  belongs  altogether  to  German  art ;  he  re- 
ceived his  training  in  Munich,  and  he  lies  buried  by  the  Isar. 
His  melancholy  fate  excites  compassion :  he  died  mad  just  as 
he  was  beginning  to  be  famous.  His  works,  which  are  partly 
large  representations  from  the  history  of  Sweden  and  the  Refor- 
mation, partly  genre  pictures  with  monks  like  those  of  Griitzner, 
and  peasants  like  those  of  Defregger,  are  not  such  as  have 
interest,  thoroughly  able  as  they  are.  After  being  in  the  be- 
ginning affected  by  Rosen,  Piloty,  and  Munkacsy,  Pradilla's 
**  Surrender  of  Granada"  caused  him  in  1883  to  abandon  brown 
bituminous  painting  in  favour  of  a  "  modern "  grey  painting, 
which  did  more  justice  to  the  illumination  of  objects  in  open 
air.  He  likewise  got  the  better  of  histrionic  gesticulation.  He 
represents  events  without  any  design  of  outward  brilliancy  and 
with  the  greatest  possible  fidelity  to  nature — represents  them 
honestly  and  straightforwardly,  and  avoids  all  straining  after 
effect.  Bronzed  and  weather-beaten  figures  have  supplanted 
the  fair  regulation  heads  of  Piloty,  truth  of  sentiment  and  ex- 
pression    have    taken    the    place    of    the    traditional     histrionic 


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-exaggeration.  All  his  works  result  from  an  inflexible  con- 
scientiousness. But  from  an  artistic  standpoint  this  praise  is 
-equivalent  to  calling  a  man  an  honest  fellow. 

Hellquist's  solidity  may  also  be  found  in  Gustav  Cederstrdm, 
likewise  an  exceedingly  sound  historical  painter,  who  from  his 
soundness  hardly  gets  the  better  of  being  tiresome.  His  first  large 
composition,  which  won  him  the  second  medal  at  the  World 
Exhibition  of  1878,  represented  the  "Death  of  Charles  XII.," 
the  episode  of  November  30th,  17 18,  when  the  Swedish  officers 
carried  home  the  body  of  their  fallen  master  across  the 
Norwegian  snowfields.  Through  its  national  subject  it  became 
one  of  the  most  popular  pictures  in  Sweden,  and  the  Govern- 
ment believed  that  they  had  found  in  CederstrOm  the  right  man 
for  the  loyal  discharge  of  all  state  orders  which  might  be  in 
question.  He  painted  well,  and  to  the  satisfaction  of  his 
patrons,  accounts  of  "The  Death  of  Nils  Stur"  and  "The  Intro- 
duction of  Christianity  into  Sweden  through  Saint  Ansgarius." 
And  when  he  occasionally  found  time  to  execute  pictures  on 
contemporary  subjects — burial  and  baptism  scenes,  etc. — they, 
too,  were  merely  good  "historical  pictures"  with  dramatic  op- 
position of  character  and  forced  contrasts.  Gustav  Cederstrom 
has,  in  fact,  a  prosy,  realistic  talent ;  he  is  a  reporter  who  avoids 
nugatory  phrases,  commanding  a  firm,  compact  style  germane 
to  the  subject.  Nevertheless  his  art  is  descriptive ;  it  renders 
an  account  of  the  subject,  is  better  in  portrayal  than  in  painting, 
more  enei^etic  than  refined,  more  sturdy  than  spiritual. 

Nils  Forsberg  became  the  Swedish  Bonnat  His  "  Family  of 
Acrobats  before  the  Circus  Director"  contained  nude,  virile 
figures  of  so  much  energy  that  Bonnat  could  have  painted  them 
no  better.  His  last  picture,  which  was  awarded  the  first  medal 
in  the  Paris  Salon  of  1888,  "The  Death  of  a  Hero,"  was  one  of 
those  attempts,  in  the  manner  of  Hugo  Vogel  or  Arthur  Kampf, 
to  bring  the  traditional  historical  picture  into  the  province  of 
modern  painting  of  the  time. 

Through  competition  with  the  productions  of  historical  paint- 
ing, Swedish  landscape  was  brought  into  the  same  peril  as  land- 
scape in  Germany.     Painters  only  represented  the  great  dramas 


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Paris  :  Bousaod-Vaiadon.] 

FoRSBERG : 


*The  Death  of  a  Hero." 


of  nature,  and  merely  emphasized  what  was  strikingly  effective 
in  them.  Red  mountains,  green  cascades,  tblue  rocks,  black 
suns,  all  the  physical,  geological,  and  meteorological  phenomena 
of  nature  in  Northern  lands,  were  painted  upon  great  spaces  of 
canvas,  which  are  valuable  as  descriptive  accounts,  but  are  seldom 
so  in  any  artistic  sense.  The  midnight  sun  plays  a  particularly 
prominent  part  in  the  picture  market.  And  it  was  only  dis- 
covered afterwards  that  even  in  the  most  Northern  parts  these 
phenomena  of  nature  do  not  take  place  in  quite  such  a  decorative 
manner  as  in  the  pictures  of  this  period. 

In  Marcus  Larsson  Sweden  had  her  Eduard  Hildebrandt — a 
man  whose  reputation  went  up  like  a  meteor  and  vanished  as 
swiftly  into  the  night.  A  peasant  lad,  a  saddler's  apprentice,  an 
opera-singer,  and  a  fashionable  painter,  he  made  himself  talked 
about  as  much  through  his  eccentric  art  as  through  his  eccentric 
life,  and  finally  died  in  poverty  and  want  in  1864  in  London.  He 
had  naturally  a  great  deal  of  talent.  Exceedingly  enterprising,  and 
gifted  with  great  imagination,  he  received  the  most  various  im- 
pressions of  nature,  took  up  the  most  various  technical  methods, 


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SWEDEN  357 

saw  things  in  a  large  way  and  endeavoured  to  render  their  total 
impression.  But  he  did  not  possess  the  love  of  truth  or  the 
strength  of  character  to  develop  his  talent.  As  soon  as  he  dis- 
covered what  people  admired  in  his  work,  he  became  a  bold 
virtuoso  whose  only  object  was  to  paint  more  vehemently  and 
showily  than  his  contemporaries.  Ruysdael,  intensified  in  all 
that  is  fantastically  scenical  and  then  embellished  with  Gudin's 
effects  of  light,  would  result  in  something  more  or  less  like  Marcus 
Larsson.  In  his  pictures  he  heaps  together  the  stage-properties 
of  agitated  Swedish  scenery — waterfalls,  huge  cliffs  casting  re- 
flections of  themselves  upon  steel-blue  lakes.  And  he  boasts  in 
his  letters  of  having  outstripped  Ruysdael  whenever  he  succeeded 
in  making  a  composition  "  more  opulent."  The  most  insane 
effects  of  light,  white  and  red  mountains,  waterfalls  in  the  sunset, 
burning  steamers,  lighthouses,  comets,  and  houses  aflame  by  night 
had  all  to  be  introduced  to  cover  his  want  of  intimate  emotion, 
with  their  decorative  effects  on  the  big  drum. 

Alfred  Wahlberg  is  to  Larsson  more  or  less  what  Lier  is  to 
Eduard  Hildebrandt  He  had  made  in  Paris  a  very  thorough 
study  of  the  masters  of  Fontainebleau,  especially  Dupr^,  and  he 
communicated  to  his  countrymen  the  principles  of  the  French 
paysage  inHme^  but  only  in  an  elegantly  adapted  and  diluted 
form.  His  range  indeed  is  wide :  it  extends  from  the  Northern 
landscapes  of  snow  to  the  brilliant  summer  splendour  of  Italy. 
Like  Lier,  he  had  a  special  love  of  dreamily  glowing  evening 
lights,  and  understood  the  means  of  soothing  the  eye  by  a  ragoUt 
of  finely  graduated  tones.  He  delighted  in  searching  for  diflSculties 
and  showing  off"  his  technique.  His  art  is  rich  in  change,  full 
of  surprises,  pliant,  elegant,  and  superficially  brilliant,  but  too 
merely  intelligent  and  mannered,  too  calculated  in  its  effects, 
for  him  to  be  brought  into  close  relationship  with  the  masters 
of  Fontainebleau.  The  landscapes  of  those  classic  artists  were 
the  offspring  of  the  most  cordial  devotion  to  nature,  those  of 
Wahlberg  are  the  products  of  chic.  The  vigour  of  directness 
is  wanting  in  his  feeling  for  nature,  his  method  of  expression  is 
the  reverse  of  simple.  His  strength  does  not  rest  upon  rapid 
sketching,  but  upon  the  pointing  and  rounding  of  an  impression. 


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3S8  MODERN  PAINTING 

He  was,  like  Larsson,  merely  a  painter  of  effective  points,  though 
he  was  less  crude ;  his  mood  is  not  so  forced,  but  his  artificiality 
of  sentiment  is  the  same. 

The  living  generation  is  far  more  disposed  to  award  the  palm 
to  two  other  painters  who  were  held  in  less  honour  by  their 
contemporaries,  two  who  never  came  into  contact  with  the  school 
of  Fontainebleau,  though  they  are  more  nearly  allied  to  it  in  the 
fundamental  principle  of  their  work. 

Gustav  Rydberg  never  got  beyond  a  meagre  style  of  painting,, 
for  he  had  no  experience  derived  from  foreign  countries.  All 
his  details  are  worked  out  with  diffidence.  His  pictorial  method 
savours  of  the  studio,  his  scale  of  colour  frequently  makes  a  trite 
effect,  his  handling  is  circumscribed  in  expedients.  Nevertheless 
his  pictures  are  preferable  to  those  of  Wahlberg,  for  they  are 
delicate  and  full  of  intimate  feeling,  whereas  those  of  the  latter 
are  glittering.  Like  the  Dutch  landscape-painters  of  the  seven- 
teenth century,  he  did  not  go  far  to  find  his  motives.  He  buried 
himself  in  the  meagre  scenery  of  his  home  at  Skon,  and  was  at 
no  pains  to  render  it  interesting  by  adorning  it.  Misty  winter 
landscapes  and  summer  moonlight  pictures,  with  thatched 
cottages,  mills  in  the  mood  of  an  autumnal  afternoon,  huge  hay- 
stacks, green  pastures,  ploughed  land,  fields  and  forests,  village 
streets,  horses  and  waggons,  such  are  the  idyllic  passages  of  nature 
which  he  has  a  preference  for  rendering.  And  his  works  are 
those  of  a  man  who  followed  his  own  way,  consistently  cleaving 
to  his  native  land  with  a  tender  spirit. 

But  the  most  sympathetic  and  personal  effect  is  made  by 
Edvard  Bergh.  When  he  returned  home  at  the  same  time  as 
Larsson  in  1857,  the  course  of  the  one  was  that  of  a  waterfall 
foaming  and  raging  and  breaking  its  way  with  forceful  vehemence 
between  the  rocks,  to  lose  itself  sadly  in  the  sand  ;  the  course  of 
the  other  that  of  a  quiet  rivulet  swelling  to  a  stream,  and  at  last 
discharging  itself  into  a  woodland  lake,  where  the  birches  are 
mirrored  and  pale  water-lilies  flush  in  the  beams  of  the  setting 
sun.  Marcus  Larsson,  a  celebrity  in  his  lifetime,  is  now  for- 
gotten, and  Edvard  Bergh,  almost  unknown  in  his  lifetime,  is 
now   held    to   have   been   a   forerunner   of  more  recent   workers. 


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Before  he  became  a 
painter  Bergh  had 
finished  his  Uni- 
versity studies.  As 
a  young  official  he 
sauntered  through 
the  rustic  villages, 
seeing  nature  as 
much  with  the  eyes 
of  a  botanist  as  with 
those  of  a  landscape- 
painter.  After  he 
had  painted  a  little  in 
a  dilettante  fashion 
in  Upsala,  the  works 
of  the  Diisseldorfers 
made  him  decide  in 
1850  to  go  to  the 
Academy  of  the 
Rhineland.  In  1855, 
the  year  of  the 
World     Exhibition, 

he  was  in  Paris,  and  travelled  thence  to  Geneva  to  Calame, 
who  then  stood  at  the  zenith  of  his  fame.  But  these  foreign 
influences  were  soon  overcome.  The  "View  of  Uri,"  in  the 
Berlin  National  Gallery,  is  one  of  the  few  pictures  in  which 
Bergh  followed  Calame  in  aiming  at  the  grand  style.  Home 
once  more  in  1857,  he  became  the  earliest  representative  of 
intimate  landscape-painting  in  Sweden.  Bergh  was,  in  fact,  a 
man  of  harmonious  temperament,  happy  and  contented  with  his 
work,  a  quiet,  thoughtful,  dreamy  man,  whose  blood  never  boiled 
and  raged. 

Thus  he  had  no  passion  for  nature  in  her  majesty  and 
dramatic  wrath,  but  loved  her  soft  smile  and  her  still,  dreamy 
solitude.  There  are  no  storm-clouds  in  his  pictures,  no  motives 
of  cliffs  with  hoary,  foaming  waterfalls,  no  grey  quarries  and 
mossy,  primaeval   pines — no    complicated    problems  of  light  and 


E.  Bergh:  "A  Pond  in  the  Forest." 


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£.  Bergh  :   "  Under  the  Birches." 

vehement  tours  de  force  of  the  brush.  He  delighted  in  the  fir- 
woods  and  glassy  rivers  of  his  home,  the  delicate  birch-groves 
and  the  dreamy  shores  of  its  lakes,  the  bright  summer  sky  of 
Sweden,  the  quiet  pastures  and  grazing  cattle,  white  clouds 
slowly  shifting  onwards,  and  lonely  paths  leading  between  the 
spreading  roots  of  trees  to  out-of-the-way  and  sheltered  valleys. 
And  his  delicate  painting,  which  is  full  of  sentiment,  corresponds 
with  the  soft  intimate  character  of  this  landscape.  Ever)rthing 
which  afterwards  became  characteristic  of  the  new  tendency, 
the  efforts  to  arrest  the  transitory  and  momentary  moods  of 
nature,  the  first  direct  impression,  was  also  the  note  of  Bergh's 
latest  works.  Some  of  his  birch-forests  with  water  and  cattle 
are  so  fresh  and  fragrant  in  their  scheme  of  colour  that  they 
might  belong  to  the  most  modern  art  Always  following  his 
own  taste,  and  as  much  a  naturalist  as  an  artist  in  colours,  as 
much  an  analyst  as  an  emotional  artist,  Bergh  showed  Swedish 
landscape  the  way  which  led  to  its  present  prime. 

The  turning-points  in  Swedish  art  coincide  more  or  less  yA^ 


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361 


Stockholm :  BoMMiVr.] 

Hugo  Salmson. 


the  years  of  the  Paris  Exhibi- 
tions: in  1856  it  was  swayed  by 
Diisseldorf,  in  1867  by  Couture 
and  Piloty;  in  1878  it  began 
to  enter  on  the  lines  of  Manet 
and  Bastien-Lepage.  Some  of 
the  Swedes  who  had  been  long 
resident  in  Paris  early  commu- 
nicated the  new  principles  to 
their  compatriots. 

Many  experiments  had  been 
already  made  by  Hug^o  Salmson, 
who  is  now  a  man  upwards  of 
fifty,  before  he  entered  the  pro- 
vince which  has  been  his  speciality 
since  1 878.  Under  Charles  Comte, 
whose  studio  he  entered  after 
his  removal  to  Paris,  he  painted  ornamental  historical  pictures 
of  manners.  Benjamin  Constant  incited  him  to  his  life-size 
•**  Odalisque,"  painted  with  a  sleek  brush.  And  Meissonier  was 
his  inspiration  when  he  exhibited  his  "Rehearsal  of  Tartuffe,"  a 
spirited  and  pliant  Rococo  illustration,  where  the  variegated  cos- 
tumes of  modish  courtiers  stood  out  daintily  in  an  elegant  old- 
world  interior.  But,  as  soon  as  the  earliest  open-air  pictures  of 
Bastien-Lepage  appeared,  he  immediately  followed  this  new 
tendency.  His  "Labourers  in  the  Turnip  Field"  of  1878,  now 
in  the  possession  of  the  Goteborg  Art  Union,  had  an  importance 
for  Sweden  similar  to  that  which  Liebermann's  "  Women 
mending  Nets"  had  for  Germany.  The  modern  period  for 
Swedish  art  had  begun — the  period  when  a  more  austerely 
truthful  painting  followed  an  art  of  variegated  and  gorgeous 
•colours.  Even  in  France  Salmson  had  made  his  mark  with 
this  work,  and  his  "Arrest" — a  village  street  in  Picardy  where 
a  couple  of  gendarmes  have  taken  a  young  woman  in  charge 
— was  the  first  Swedish  picture  obtained  for  the  Mus^e 
Luxembourg.  This  was  in  1879.  And  in  1883  his  "Little 
Gleaners"  was  admitted  into  the  Stockholm  National  Museum. 
VOL.  III.  24 


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Stockholm :  Bonmer.] 

August  Hagborg. 


Yet  this  rapid  success  suggests  that 
Salmson  is  not  a  master  of  haughty- 
individuality,  whom  it  takes  time 
to  comprehend.  Beneath  his  hands 
Manet's  hard,  virile  art  has  become 
a  thing  made  for  popularity.  His 
peasant  girls  are  graceful,  his  land- 
scapes charming,  and  his  problems 
of  light  meet  with  a  solution  which 
is  rather  piquant  than  sincere.  His 
last  pastel  portraits  and  pictures 
of  children  are  often  completely 
mawkish.  He  is  not  a  robust  and 
original  artist,  but  one  who  has  gone 
tamely  with  the  stream.  However^ 
he  is  a  good  painter,  who  acquired 
greater  technical  readiness  in  Paris 
than  any  of  his  countrymen.  His  representations  of  the  life 
of  the  people  in  Picardy  appeal  to  the  great  public  by  their 
confident  and  noble  drawing,  their  refined  treatment  of  colour,, 
their  dainty  handling  of  the  brush,  and  their  characterization,, 
which  is  spirited  if  it  is  not  profound.  Through  this  treatment^ 
adapted  to  the  requirements  of  the  Salon,  he  won  a  more  rapid 
popularity  for  the  new  principles  than  would  have  been  otherwise 
possible. 

And  August  Hagborg^  whose  success  dates  from  the  same- 
years,  and  whose  ductile  talent  ran  through  the  same  course 
of  development,  is  his  twin  brother  in  the  history  of  Swedish 
art  Having  begun  in  Paris  with  little  hard  but  carefully 
painted  costume-pictures  from  the  Directoire  period,  he  after- 
wards found  his  vocation  in  representing  the  sea-coasts  and 
fisher-folk  of  Northern  France.  "The  Ebb-tide  on  the  English 
Channel" — a  number  of  oyster-fishers  coming  home  with  their 
booty  over  the  fresh,  clear  sea,  and  a  bright  sky  with  bluish 
strips  of  cloud — was  bought  by  the  Mus6e  Luxembourg  in 
1879,  and  from  that  time  he  was  a  popular  painter.  A  low^ 
yellowish  strand,   spreading   broadly   in    the    foreground,   fishing 


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skiffs,  the  peaceful 
sea,  and  a  clear, 
bluish -white  '  sky, 
beaming  in  the 
mild  light  of  a 
warm  noonday  sun, 
or  in  the  chill  gleam 
of  a  dull  morning, 
such  are  the  phases 
of  nature  which 
Hagborg  has  chosen 
and  repeated  in  all 
his  pictures  with 
various  accessory 
figures. 

Here  there  are 
fishers  making  for 
the  shore,  here  a 
priest  blessing  a 
newly  built  skiff, 
here  nothing  but  the 
strand  with  a  row 
of  boats  in  shining, 
silvery  morning 
mist,  here  the  dwellers  of  the  strand  talking  together  before 
setting  out.  The  veracity  and  roughness  of  Michael  Ancher  is. 
not  to  be  asked  from  him.  His  people  are  of  a  cleanly,  bloom- 
ing race,  a  people  who  are  innocent  of  laxity,  and  know  nothing 
of  the  wearisomeness  of  life.  They  are  the  types  of  the  fine 
lad  and  the  brave  lass  which  may  be  found  in  the  novels  of 
Pierre  Loti,  a  little  more  refined  than  they  are  in  reality,  and 
artificially  polished  and  freshened  up.  Trim  fisher-girls  and 
young  men  are  knotting  together  nets.  Girls  go  merrily  laugh- 
ing homewards  from  the  strand;  talking,  jesting,  or  silent  and 
embarrassed  couples  sit  on  the  grass  or  make  a  rendez-vous  with 
each  other  by  a  boat-side.  Hagborg  has  often  repeated  him- 
self, varied  the  types  and  moods  which  once  made  him  popular,. 


Hagborg:  "The  Return  Home.' 


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364  MODERN  PAINTING 

until  they  have  grown  tiresome ;  but  besides  many  pictures 
turned  out  for  the  market,  and  striking  rather  through  their  chic 
than  any  personal  emotion,  he  has  produced  several  works  in 
recent  years,  such  as  "The  Potato-Gatherers,"  "The  Church- 
yard of  Tourvilleu,"  and  the  like,  which  show  a  vigorous 
striving  in  an  onward  direction. 

Wilheltn  van  Gegerfelt,  the  landscape-painter,  is  the  third 
of  these  Parisian  Swedes.  Since  1872  he  has  lived  in  Paris, 
and  there  he  has  become  a  thoroughbred  Frenchman.  At 
present,  too,  he  seems  a  somewhat  old-fashioned  painter,  whose 
Venetian  lagunes  and  deep  blue  summer  nights  of  Naples  have 
more  in  common  with  Oswald  Achenbach  and  Clays  than 
with  Billotte  and  Monet  Like  Wahlberg,  he  had  a  greater 
regard  for  chic  and  "beautiful  tone"  than  was  favourable  to  the 
sincerity  of  his  landscapes.  But  when  he  appeared  he  excited 
a  great  deal  of  notice  by  his  bright  scale  of  colour  and  his 
refined  taste.  In  his  works  the  moonlight  rests  upon  the 
Canal  Grande,  or  a  delicate  grey  is  spread  over  some  district 
on  the  French  coast  The  sun  glitters  on  the  snowfields  of 
Upsala;  bright,  shining  rain  comes  hissing  down  in  a  Swedish 
village ;  or  skaters  in  the  silvery  dusk  of  a  winter  evening  hum 
swiftly  over  the  crystal  surface  of  the  frozen  lake. 

After  187s  the  young  Swedes  studying  in  Paris  banded 
round  these  three  painters.  As  early  as  the  winter  of  1877-8 
this  Swedish  colony  could  boast  of  eighteen  names.  Most  of 
their  owners  lived  at  Montmartre,  where  Hagborg  had  his 
studio.  Their  general  place  of  reunion  was  the  Restaurant 
Hoerman  in  the  Boulevard  de  Clichy,  which  was  christened 
"  The  Swedish  General  Credit  Company "  in  Paris,  with  reference 
to  the  kindly  consideration  of  the  proprietor  in  money-matters. 
In  the  evening  the  company  went  across  to  the  Cafe  de 
THermitage  and  played  billiards.  From  the  principal  table 
reserved  every  evening  for  the  blond  and  blue-eyed  guests 
there  rose  Swedish  quartettes.  Amongst  these  "knights  of  the 
stew-pan,"  of  whom  many  a  one  did  not  know  how  he  was 
to  live  upon  the  following  day,  there  reigned  a  wild  spirit  of 
youth,   an  audacious  levity,   but  there  was  also  a  sincere    and 


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fervent  love  of  work  which  resulted   in  a  sustained  exertion  of 
all  their  powers. 

To  two  of  the  most  talented  it  was  not  accorded  to  reap 
at  home,  in  later  days,  the  fruits  of  their  labour.  The  wag  of 
the  Parisian  clique,  Karl  Skdnberg — a  droll,  little,  hump-backed 
man,  whom  August  Strindberg  used  as  prototype  for  the  painter 
in  his  charming  sketch  The  Little  Being's— died  in  1883,  just 
after  he  had  come  back  to  Stockholm,  when  he  was  scarcely 
three-and-thirty.  And  Swedish  art  was  robbed  of  Hugo  Birger 
at  the  same  youthful  age  four  years  afterwards.  The  former 
was  a  fine  landscape-painter,  who,  making  Paris  his  head- 
quarters, searched  for  pictorial  motives  in  Holland  and  Italy. 
In  Holland  he  painted  the  harbour  of  Dort,  in  Italy  the 
glowing  blaze  of  Etna  and  the  olive-groves  of  Naples,  the 
blooming  fruit-trees  of  the  Villa  Albani  or  the  golden  skies 
and  rocking  skiffs  of  Venice.  He  is  most  effective  when  he 
renders  with  large  strokes  a  part  of  the  harbour  with 
glittering  water,  the  little  figures  of  fishermen,  and  glowing  sails, 
or  when  he  steeps  his  pictures  in  a  grey  dusk  impregnated  with 
colour.  In  Venice  he  is  peculiarly  at  home,  not  only  the  sunny 
joyous  Venice  of  spring,  glowing  with  colour,  but  Venice  in 
rainy  autumn  in  her  widow's  weeds.  Sailing  through  the 
lagunes  in  a  skiff,  he  sketched  the  wharves  and  canals  with  their 
black  ships  and  deep  red  sails,  and  the  diversified  masses  of 
the  Giudecca. 

A  virtuoso  who  often  displays  great  audacity,  Hugo  Birger, 
extended  his  field  of  study  to  Spain  and  Africa.  The  ideal 
which  he  pursued  with  feverish  activity  throughout  his  brief 
life  was  to  meet  with  curious  costumes,  to  paint  with  novel 
colours,  to  experience  novel  moods,  and  to  stand  upon  the  soil 
of  a  strange  and  distant  land.  The  blue  sky  of  Spain  glares 
upon  white  walls,  the  glowing  sun  of  North  Africa  glances 
upon  the  forms  of  negroes  and  gaudy  turbans.  One  of  his 
most  luxuriant  feasts  of  colour  was  called  "  Breakfast  in  Granada :  " 
a  party  of  ladies  and  gentlemen  in  light,  white,  and  blue  are 
breakfasting  out  of  doors ;  the  noonday  sun  ripples,  falling 
white   through   the   foliage,   and    playing   upon    the   bottles  and 


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.aW. 


•»**■ 


,liMi      ttUtt*'!' 


Stockholm  :  Bonnier.] 

Kreuger  : 


**  Twiught/ 


fruits.  Right  in 
the  sun  stands  a 
peacock,  unfolding 
all  the  iridescent 
splendour  of  his 
tail.  Having  re- 
turned home  for 
a  short  time,  he 
painted  the  Stock- 
holm theatres  lit  up 
by  electricity,  and 
the  glowing  colour- 
symphonies  of  the 
fjords.  His  last 
great  picture  repre- 
sented the  Swedish 
artists  breakfasting  in  the  Restaurant  Ledoyer  on  the  varnishing 
■day  of  the  Salon.  But  when  it  hung  in  the  Salon  of  1887  he 
had  ended  his  career.  In  him  and  Skanberg  Swedish  painting 
lost  two  men  of  forcible  talent ;  they  were  not  great  artists  of 
fine  individual  sentiment,  but  they  were  two  bold  and  vigorous 
painters,  who  loved  painting  for  its  varied  colour,  and  rejoiced  in 
being  painters  with  their  whole  heart 

The  others  who,  at  that  time,  were  members  of  the  Swedish 
colony  in  Paris,  now  work  in  their  native  land.  Like  the  Danes 
Tuxen  and  Kroyer,  they  regarded  Paris  merely  as  a  high-school, 
to  be  gone  through  before  they  could  begin  a  fresh  course  of 
activity  in  Stockholm.  Those  who  came  to  Paris  first  adapted 
themselves  almost  more  to  French  than  to  Swedish  painting, 
for  through  their  place  of  residence  they  were  led  to  paint  tlie 
life  of  the  French  and  not  that  of  the  Swedish  people.  Fishers 
from  Brittany  and  peasants  from  Picardy  alternate  with  views 
of  Fontainebleau  and  the  French  coasts.  Even  when  a  picture 
now  and  then  seems  to  be  Swedish,  this  Swedish  aspect  is  merely 
an  aff*air  of  costumes  brought  from  the  mother-country,  and  fitted 
on  to  Parisian  models. 

But  the  artists  who  returned  to  Stockholm   gradually  made 


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Stockholm:  BonnitrJl 
Prince  Eugene  of  Sweden  :  A  Landscape. 


Swedish  art  out  of  the 
Parisian  art  of  Hagborg 
and  Salmson.  Neverthe- 
less the  cosmopolitan 
character  still  remains. 
In  Denmark  that  curiously 
emancipated  artist  Kroyer 
is  perhaps  the  only  one 
who  acquired  a  certain 
elegance,  boldness,  and 
nervous  vibration  through 
contact  with  French  paint- 
ing. Otherwise  Danish 
painting  has  a  virgin  bash- 
fulness,  something  self-con- 
tained and  homely  in  its 
preference  for  quiet  corners 
and  cosy  rooms  in  lamp- 
light.    All  those  emotions 

which  elsewhere  find  their  way  into  outward  life  are  turned 
inwards  with  the  Danes,  and  live  in  their  spirit  in  a  sharpened, 
subtilized,  and  concentrated  form.  Swedish  art  is  more  mun- 
dane, more  graceful  and  gleaming :  it  regards  what  is  simple 
as  bourgeois  \  it  loves  extremes,  caprices,  a  bright,  tingling 
Impressionism,  the  piquant,  bizarre  effects  of  light,  vibrating 
chords.  Swedish  painters  have  a  less  national  accent  than  the 
Danes,  a  less  personal  method  of  seeing  things,  but  all  the 
more  taste  and  flexibility.  It  does  one  good  to  look  at 
Johansen's  pictures ;  they  are  so  cordial  in  sentiment  that  one 
forgets  the  artist,  while  in  the  presence  of  Swedish  works  one 
thinks  only  of  the  dexterous  technique.  They  are  rather  ex- 
amples of  technical  artifice  than  works  of  art,  rather  graceful 
bravura  paintings  than  intimate  confessions ;  they  originate  rather 
from  manual  adroitness  than  from  the  painter's  heart.  More- 
over the  Swedish  painters  are  not  to  be  found  amongst  those 
men  of  rough,  forceful  nature  who  are  ridiculed  and  scoffed 
at  by  the  great  public  at  exhibitions.     They  are   never  austere 


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Stockholm  :  BonnUr.} 

LiLjEFORs:   ''Blackcocks  at  Pairing-time." 

and  puritanical,  but  rather  piquant,  pleasing,  charming,  and 
gracious.  What  is  cAtc  has  mastered  what  is  natural  in  their 
pretty  fantasies  of  colour,  and  has  even  made  a  sort  of  knickknacks 
out  of  the  very  peasants.  Exceedingly  quick  in  assimilation,, 
they  have  made  themselves  more  familiar  than  any  other  nation 
with  all  the  sleights  of  art  that  may  be  learnt  in  Paris,  and  by 
these  have  created  works  which  are  exceedingly  refined  and 
modern. 

In  the  province  of  landscape-painting  R6n6  Billotte  would 
offer  the  most  ready  parallel  to  the  works  of  the  youngest  Swedes. 
Nature  in  Sweden  has  not  the  idyllic  coyness  of  Danish  scenery,, 
nor  has  it  the  rude  air  of  desolation  and  wildness  which  gives 
the  Norwegian  its  sombre  and  melancholy  stamp.  It  is  more 
coquettish.  Southern,  and  French,  and  the  Swedish  painters  see 
it  with  French  eyes.  Their  works  have  nothing  mystical,  elegiac,, 
and  shrouded,  like  those  of  the  Danes.  Everything  is  clear  and 
dazzling.  In  the  one  school  there  is  a  naturalness,  a  simplicity 
which   almost   causes   the    spectator   to   forget   the  work  of    the 


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Stockholm  :  Bonnie.] 

Bruno  Liljepors. 


brush  ;  the  other  gives,  in  the 
first  place,  the  impression  of 
a  problem  deftly  solved.  In 
the  one  is  the  most  extreme 
reserve  in  colour,  a  soft  grey 
enveloping  everything;  in  the 
other  a  cunning  play  with 
delicate  gradations  of  tone, 
an  effort  to  analyze  the  most 
fleeting  moods  of  nature  and 
the  most  complicated  effects 
of  light.  There  are  bright 
meadows  and  woodland  clear- 
ings under  the  most  varied  phases  of  light :  when  the  dazzling 
whiteness  of  the  sun  vibrates  delicately  through  silvery  gradations 
of  the  atmosphere,  or  "  rosy-fingered  dawn  "  dallies  with  the  little 
white  clouds,  or  the  violet  reflections  of  the  deep  red  setting  sun 
fade  wearily  over  a  pool  filled  with  lilies.  There  are  woodlands 
with  graceful  birches,  the  yellow  autumnal  leaves  of  which  sparkle 
in  the  slanting  rays  of  the  light,  and  still  forest  lakes  with  white 
flowers  Which  flush  in  the  radiance  of  the  sinking  sun.  More- 
over the  wonders  of  the  Malar  See,  with  the  magical  mazes  ot 
its  glittering  arteries  of  water,  give  an  opportunity  for  the  solution 
of  difficult  problems  of  light.  The  marvellous  port  of  Stockholm 
is  painted  with  its  splendid  bridges,  palaces,  and  shining  rows  of 
houses,  and  creeks  of  the  sea  with  the  silvery  reflections  of  the 
moonlight  upon  their  curling  waves,  and  the  turrets  of  lighthouses 
rising  solemnly  over  the  ocean  like  great  moons,  and  the  windows 
of  houses,  which  have  been  lit  up,  blazing  like  flickering  will-o'-the 
wisps  in  the  blue  misty  veil  of  twilight ;  little  skiffs  and  graceful 
sailing  vessels,  which,  in  the  dying  sunset,  glide  across  the  blue 
waters  as  lightly  as  nutshells ;  shores  against  which  the  waves 
chafe  foaming  and  dazzlingly  white,  scourged  by  the  fresh  morning 
wind,  or  rockbound  coasts,  which  lie,  black  and  misty,  beneath 
the  dark  starry  sky.  Parts  of  the  streets  are  painted  in  that 
vague  illumination  which  is  neither  bright  nor  dark,  neither  day 
nor  night ;  bridges  crowded  with  a  fluctuating  throng,  and  lighted 


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Paris:  Boussod-Valadon.'] 

Oesterund  : 


'A  Baptism  in  Brittany.** 


by  flickering  lamps.  Even  when  winter  is  celebrated,  it  is  not  its 
melancholy  and  its  sad  mists  that  are  painted,  but  its  glittering 
gladness  and  its  bright,  invigorating  cold,  bouquets  and  wreaths 
of  snow,  a  fairy  architecture  of  white  snow  with  the  bluest  sky 
as  background. 

Per  Eckstrom,  one  of  the  older  artists,  paints  the  poetry  of 
•desolation  :  the  silence  of  the  heath,  when  all  its  outlines  are 
dissolved  in  the  dusk  and  all  its  colours  are  extinguished ;  the 
new  moon  over  a  clear  lake,  with  groups  of  trees  reflected 
tremulously  in  the  water;  the  silvery  tone  of  afternoon  lying 
-dreamily  over  half  dim  plains ;  still,  sequestered  pools,  sown 
with  luxuriant  water-plants  in  the  blood-red  sunset,  or  the  vague 
light  of  moonrise.  A  quiet  part  of  the  heath  in  Oeland,  in  the 
subdued,  tender,  silvery  tone  of  dusk ;  a  glittering  forest  lake, 
in  which  the  deadened  sunshine  plays  in  a  thousand  reflections ; 
and  the  study  "  Sun  and  Snow,"  a  mingled  play  of  red  and  white 
colours,  making  the  most  intense  effect,  were  the  pictures  by  which 
he  introduced  himself  in  Germany,  at  the  Munich  Exhibition  of 
1892,  as  one  of  the  finest  landscape-painters  of  the  present. 

The  painter  of  winter  twilight  and  autumn  evenings  in  the 
North  was  Nils  Kreuger,   who   had  already  in    Paris   shown   a 


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371 


Munich  :  HanfsidngL] 


BjOrck  :   "  In  the  Cowshed." 


preference  for  phases  of  winter  and  rain,  dusk  and  vapour.  In 
his  delicate  little  pictures  he  rendered  desolate  village  streets,  with 
the  soft  twilight  sinking  over  their  poverty-stricken  houses  and 
gardens,  pallid  moonshine  lying  ghostly  over  solitary  buildings 
and  deserted  paths  losing  themselves  in  the  darkness,  phases  of 
wintry  afternoon,  and  skaters  whose  fleeting  outlines  speed  lightly 
like  vague  shadows  across  the  glassy  lake. 

Karl  Nordstrdnty  more  uneven  and  less  delicate,  though  always 
captivating  through  his  bold  experiments,  chiefly  celebrates  the 
Northern  winter  with  its  cold  splendour  of  colour,  its  rarefied, 
transparent  air,  its  dazzling  sunshine,  and  its  soft  snow  resting 
like  sugar  upon  the  branches  of  the  leafless  trees.  He  has 
likewise  worked  much  and  successfully  upon  motives  from 
Skargard  under  sombre  phases  of  night  and  animated  by  the 
varied  lights  of  steamers  slowly  gliding  past  the  hilly  coasts, 
upon  harbour  views  with  glowing  rocket-lights,  yellowish-red 
pennons,  and  little  steamboats  running  from  shore  to  shore  with 
arrowy  swiftness. 


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Stockholm :  Bonnier. '\ 

Carl  Larsson, 


Scarcely  thirty  years 
^T\       i^^^^^^^^  ^^  ^S^'  ^"^  already  one 

^^ «     m^  t  3^^^  amongst  the  best,  Prince 

^      @fc(tiitatf^\  /<^^^K  Eugene    arrested     melo- 

dious moods  of  nature 
in  Skon  and  Soederman- 
land  :  in  his  pictures  a 
still  forest,  with  delicate 
birches  and  plashing 
streamlets,  is  touched  by 
the  violet  mists  around 
the  evening  sun ;  little 
golden  clouds  hang  over 
the  sea;  or-  the  sun 
shines  with  dazzling 
light  upon  a  glad,  green  meadow-land ;  or  else  the  moon 
trembles  in  long  shining  lines  upon  a  bluish  lake. 

Robert  Thegerstrdm  travelled  much,  and,  in  addition  to 
delicate  French  harmonies  in  grey,  exhibited  pretty  studies 
from  Egypt  and  Algiers.  A  sturdy  artist,  Olof  Arborelius,  has 
produced  Swiss  and  Italian  landscapes,  painted  during  his 
years  of  pilgrimage,  and,  in  his  later  period,  Swedish  landscapes, 
true  and  powerful  in  their  local  accent,  and  of  rich  and 
luxuriant  colouring.  The  dazzling  rays  of  the  summer  sun 
and  the  glittering  effects  of  winter  snow  have  principally  inspired 
his  dexterous  brush.  Axel  Lindmann  paints  honest,  clear  grey 
landscapes  enlivened  with  delicate  green,  and  they  show  that 
he  has  more  than  once  looked  at  Damoye.  In  Alfred  Thome 
the  mountain  and  Malar  scenery  has  found  an  interpreter,  in 
John  Kindborg  the  environs  of  Stockholm,  and  in  Carl  Johannson 
the  world  in  its  wintry  charms.  Johan  Krouthin  painted 
quarries,  forcible  summer-pieces  from  Skagen,  arable  fields 
in  autumn  in  the  sunshine,  pictures  of  spring  with  powerful, 
chalky  effects  of  light,  or  garden  pictures  in  which  he  united 
all  kinds  of  gay  flowers  in  joyous  combinations  of  colour.  The 
sea-painter  Adolf  Nordling  attaches  himself  to  the  great 
Danish    sea-painters    by    the    confident    manner    in    which    he 


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places  his  vessels  in  the 
waves.  His  air  is  fresh 
and  clear ;  light  and  fluent 
his  water.  Victor  Forssell, 
Johan  Ertcsofiy  Edvard 
Rosenberg,2XiA  Ernst  Lund- 
Strom  are  other  painters 
who  devote  themselves  to 
the  port  of  Stockholm. 

In  the  province  of 
animal  painting  the  men 
of  the  older  generation, 
Wennerberg,  Brandelius, 
and  others,  have  been  re- 
placed by  Georg  Arsenius 
and  Bruno  Liljefors. 
Arsenius  has  been  known 
for  many  years  by  his 
bright,  sunny,  and  dashing 
renderings  of  the  Paris 
races,  and  by  numerous 
rapid  and  confident  draw- 
ings   from    the    world    of 

sport,  published  in  the  French  journals.  After  making  frequent 
contributions  to  the  Paris  Salon  without  exciting  any  special 
attention,  Bruno  Liljefors  introduced  himself  to  the  German 
public,  for  the  first  time,  in  1892,  in  Munich.  Removed  from 
the  Stockholm  Academy  on  account  of  unfitness,  he  withdrew 
himself  and  his  models — tame  and  wild  animals,  birds  and  four- 
footed  beasts— to  an  out-of-the-way  village  in  the  north  of 
Sweden,  and  here  became  one  of  the  most  individual  personalities 
of  modern  art.  The  barren,  commonplace  scenery  of  Uppland, 
with  its  hills  clothed  with  meagre  woods  and  its  sparse  fir-forests 
and  its  green  fields"^  and  meadows  in  the  winter  snow,  usually 
forms  the  background  for  his  representations  of  animal  life :  they 
are  the  works  of  a  man  who,  without  having  been  in  Paris, 
worked   out  by  himself  all    the   inspiring    principles   of  foreign 


Stockholm  :  Bonnur.] 
Carl  Larsson  :   "Tmr  Wm  op  th«  Viking." 


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Stockholm :  Bonnitr.^ 

Richard  Bergh. 


painting.  In  his  earliest 
years  Liljefors  devoted  him- 
self with  zeal  and  earnest 
purpose  to  open-air  painting, 
painted  woods  and  meadows 
in  that  most  intense  sunlight 
loved  by  Manet ;  then  he 
studied  the  Japanese,  and 
assimilated  their  spirited 
sureness  in  seizing  transient 
movements.  But,  in  these 
days,  this  technical  bravura 
is  only  used  as  a  vehicle 
for  his  fresh  and  healthy 
observation  and  intimate 
feeling.  Liljefors  knows  his 
models.  He  has  learnt  to 
arrest  the  most  instantaneous 
movements  of  animals ;  he  has  made  himself  familiar  with  their 
way  of  life,  their  characteristics  and  their  habits.  He  represents 
the  spoit  of  birds  in  the  sunshine,  the  hare  sitting  solitary 
upon  a  snowy  field  of  a  grey  winter  afternoon,  the  hound,  the 
household  of  foxes,  quails,  magpies,  and  reed-sparrows  as  they 
hide  shivering  in  the  snow. 

And  just  as  he  represents  these  animals  with  the  essential 
accuracy  of  an  old  sportsman,  he  paints  his  men  with  the 
good-humour  of  a  head-ranger,  living  in  the  country  and 
playing  cards  with  peasants  in  the  tavern.  His  landscapes 
have  been  seen  with  the  fresh,  bright  eyos  of  one  accustomed 
to  live  out  of  doors,  one  who  can  go  about  without  having 
numbed  and  frozen  fingers.  When  he  paints  boys  taking  nests 
or  getting  over  the  palings  to  steal  apples  he  does  it  with  a 
boy's  sense  of  enjoyment,  as  though  he  would  like  to  be  of  the 
party  himself.  When  he  paints  the  sunny  corners  of  a  peasant 
garden,  where  diapered  butterflies  poise  on  the  flowers  and 
sparrows  scratch  merrily  till  they  cover  themselves  with  sand, 
one  would  take  Liljefors  himself  for  the  old  gardener  who  had 


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laid  out  and  planted  this 
plot  of  land.  Whether  he 
represents  the  darkness 
of  a  summer  night,  or 
blackcocks  pairing  in  a 
dark  green  valley,  or  the 
solitude  of  the  forest, 
where  the  poacher  is 
awaiting  his  victim  with 
strained  attention,  or  the 
sombre  humour  of  after- 
noon upon  the  heath,  where 
the  sportsman  is  plodding 
wearily  home,  followed  by 
his  panting  dogs,  there 
runs  through  his  picture 
a  deep  and  unforced  sen- 
timent, a  reverence  for  the 
mysticism  of  nature  and 
the  majestical  sublimity  of 
solitude.  Living  in  a  far- 
off  village,  out  of  touch  with  the  artist  world  throughout  the  whole 
year,  surrounded  only  by  his  animals,  and  observing  nature  at  all 
seasons  and  at  all  hours,  Liljefors  is  one  of  those  men  who  have 
something  of  Millet's  nature,  one  of  those  in  whom  heart  and 
hand,  man  and  artist,  are  united.  It  is  only  through  living  so 
intimately  with  the  theme  of  his  studies  that  he  has  seen  Swedish 
landscape  with  such  largeness  and  quietude,  and  learnt  to  overhear 
the  language  of  the  birds  and  the  whisper  of  the  pines. 

Beyond  this  it  is  impossible  to  divide  Swedish  painters 
according  to  "subjects"  or  provinces.  The  more  "Swedish" 
they  are,  and  the  more  deftly  they  have  learnt  to  play  with 
technique,  the  more  they  are  cosmopolitans  who  take  a  pleasure 
in  venturing  upon  everything.  Axel  Kulle  represents  peasant 
life  in  South  Sweden  in  a  very  authentic  manner  with  regard  to 
costume  and  furniture,  yet  with  a  humorous  accent  which  is  a 
relic   of    his   Dusseldorf  period.      A   sturdy,   prosaic   realist,   Alf 


K  M.:±m 

1^ 

vi#    -... 

Iv :: 

% 

1          ; 

,v  \    '^     ..        ■ 

Stockholm:  Bonnitr,} 

R.  Bergh  :   •'  At  Evenfall." 


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Go*,  <Us  Bgaux-Atis.} 

R.  Bergh  :  Portrait  of  his  Wipe. 


WallaneUr,  is  the  leading 
representative  of  natural- 
ism in  the  treatment  of  the 
proletariat.  Old  men  and 
women  in  the  street,  the 
inn,  or  the  market-place, 
he  places  upon  canvas  as 
large  as  life,  and  his  works 
are  energetic,  fresh,  and 
full  of  colour,  though  with- 
out delicacy  or  the  play 
of  feeling.  Axel  Borg 
paints  peasant  life  in 
Orebro:  street-scenes  and 
fairs,  or  farms  of  a  Sunday 
forenoon,  when  the  waggon 
stands  ready  for  an  ex- 
cursion to  the  neighbour- 
ing village.  The  snowy  landscape  of  Lapland,  with  its  moun- 
tains, pines,  and  waterfalls,  has  a  forcible  and  fearless  interpreter 
in  Johan  Tir^n,  who  is  a  robust  and  pithy  painter.  AUan 
Oesterlind,  an  artist  who  tells  his  tale  with  delicacy,  has  now 
settled  in  Brittany,  where  he  paints  rustic  life  in  the  field  and 
at  home,  by  daylight  and  firelight,  in  the  market-square  and 
the  churchyard,  with  Parisian  flexibility.  In  him  the  child-world 
in  particular,  has  a  fine  observer :  he  surprises  children  in  their 
games  and  their  griefs,  simply,  and  without  mixing  in  them 
himself;  they  are  all  absorbed  in  their  employment,  and  not 
one  of  them  steps  out  of  his  surroundings  to  coquet  with  the 
spectator.  And  Ivar  Nyberg  delights  in  family  scenes  round  the 
lamp  of  an  evening,  young  ladies  sitting  at  the  piano  by  candle- 
light, or  old  women  telling  girls  their  fortunes  by  cards ;  those 
twilight  motives  and  those  indeterminate  effects  of  light  in  an 
interior  which  are  so  dear  to  the  Danes. 

There  is  something  a  little  German  about  Oscar  BJorck^  which 
is  quite  in  accordance  with  his  Munich  training.  He  can  neither 
be  called  particularly  spirited  nor   particularly   intimate,  but  he 


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}ias  a  sound  and  sincere  naturalism,  a  quiet  and  graceful  style, 
and  an  even  methcwi  of  creation,  which  is  free  from  all  nervous 
intensity.  In  Skagen,  where  he  worked  for  some  time,  he  was 
affected  by  Danish  influences  which  prompted  him  to  pictures 
from  the  life  of  seamen — "  The  Signal  of  Distress  "  and  so  forth 
— in  the  manner  of  Michael  Ancher.  Intercourse  with  Julius 
Kronberg  in  Rome  led  him  to  paint  a  "  Susanna,"  an  adroit 
studio  study  in  the  style  of  French  Classicism.  The  leading 
work  of  his  Roman  period  was  a  representation  of  a  forge,  an 
exceedingly  sound  picture,  in  which  he  analyzed  correctly  and 
with  adherence  to  fact  the  play  of  sunbeams  on  the  smoke- 
grimed  walls  of  the  smithy,  their  blending  with  the  fire  on  the 
hearth,  and  the  strife  of  this  double  illumination  of  sun  and  fire 
upon  the  upper  part  of  the  tanned  bodies  of  the  workmen.  In 
Venice  he  painted  the  Piazza  d'Erbe  flooded  with  sunshine,  and 
the  interiors  of  old  Renaissance  churches,  on  the  gleaming  mosaics 
of  which  dim  daylight  plays,  broken  by  the  many-coloured  glass 
windows.  A  "Stable,"  upon  the  walls  and  planks  of  which  the 
•early  sun  fell  in  large,  sparkling  patches,  a  "  Sewing-Room " 
with  the  broad  daylight  glancing  tremulously  over  the  white 
figures  of  girls,  and,  occasionally,  able  portraits,  were  his  later 
works,  which  were  sterling  and  powerful,  though  they  were  not 
particularly  spirited. 

Carl  Larsson  is  amusing,  coquettish,  and  mobile,  one  of  those 
capricious,  facile  men  of  talent  to  whom  everything  is  easy.  He 
first  made  a  name  as  an  illustrator,  and  his  piquant  representa- 
tions of  fashionable  life  as  well  as  his  grotesquely  bizarre 
caricatures  are  the  most  spirited  work  which  has  arisen  in  Sweden 
in  the  department  of  illustration  during  the  century.  This 
facility  in  production  remained  with  him  later.  Always  attempt- 
ing something  novel  and  mastering  novel  spheres  of  art,  he  went 
from  oil-painting  to  pastels  and  water-colours,  and  from  sculpture 
to  etching.  The  refined  water-colours  which  he  painted  in 
Prance — pictures  of  little  gardens  with  young  fruit-trees,  gay 
flowers,  old  men,  and  beehives — were  followed  by  delicate 
landscapes  from  the  neighbourhood  of  Stockholm  and  Dalame, 
interiors  bathed  in  sunlight,  and  amusing  portraits  of  his  family 
VOL.  III.  25 


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and  his  feminine  pupils. 
But  this  was  merely  a 
transitional  stage  to  "  grand 
art,"  the  decorative  painting 
which  had  been  the  aim  of 
his  youthful  dreams.  Even 
in  the  days  when  he  worked 
at  a  Stockholm  photogra- 
pher's, and  was  employed 
in  retouching,  he  painted 
in  an  audacious  effervescent 
humour  pictures  like  "The 
Sinner's  Transit  to  Hell,"  or 
old  bards  singing  their  last 
ballad  to  the  sinking  sun. 
Even  then  the  motley  old 
wooden  figures  of  the 
Stockholm  churches  had 
bewitched  him,  and  the  fan- 
tastic woodcuts  of  Martin 
Schongauer  and  Diirer. 
In  his  decorative  works  he 
sports  with  all  these  elements  like  a  spirited  tattler  who  has 
seen  much  and  babbles  about  it  in  a  way  that  is  witty  and 
stimulating,  if  not  novel.  In  the  three  allegorical  wall-paintings^ 
Renaissance,  Rococo,  and  Modern,  which  he  designed  for  the 
Fiirstenberg  Gallery  in  Stockholm,  Tiepolo,  Goltzius,  Schwind,. 
and  modern  French  plastic  art  are  boldly  and  directly  inter- 
mingled. In  the  series  of  wall-paintings  for  the  staircase  of  the 
girls'  school  in  Goteborg,  where  he  represented  the  life  of 
Swedish  women  in  different  ages,  the  technique  of  open-air 
painting,  naturalistic  force,  curious  yearning  for  the  magic  of 
the  Rococo  period,  daring  of  thought  suggesting  Cornelius,  and 
the  pale  grey  hue  of  Puvis  de  Chavannes  are  mixed  so  as  to 
form  a  strange  result  It  all  has  something  of  the  manner  of 
a  poster,  with  but  little  that  is  monumental  or,  indeed,  inde- 
pendent.     But   Larsson   plays   with  all    his    reminiscences  with. 


\Arii8i  sc] 

Zorn:  Portrait  of  Himself. 


^^^ 


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such  an  attractive  and 
sovereign  talent,  the  total 
effect  is  so  fresh  and 
delightful,  so  vivid  and 
full  of  fantastic  point,  so 
effective  in  colour  and  in 
substance,  so  far  removed 
from  all  dry  didacticism, 
that  he  raises  himself  to 
a  position  beside  the 
finest  decorators  of  the 
present  age. 

In  Ernst  Josephson, 
another  spirited  impro- 
viser,  bold  portraits  and 
motley  scenes  from  the 
life  of  the  Spanish  people 
alternate  with  robust,  life- 
size  pictures  of  forges, 
millers'  men,  and  Swedish 
village  witches.  Georg 
Pau/t  pdAnitd  little  Italian 

landscapes  with  a  fine,  natural  lyricism  of  feeling,  sea  and  bridge 
pictures  with  gas-lamps,  spring  evenings  when  the  setting  sun 
casts  a  red  light  into  the  room,  or  bright  moonlight  nights  when 
the  air  seems  transformed  into  chill  light.  In  some  of  his- 
expressive  pictures  of  sick-rooms  there  was  an  echo  of  H.  von 
Habermann,  and  in  his  last  work,  "The  Norns,"  he  followed,, 
like  the  latter,  a  monumental  and  allegorical  tendency  in  the 
manner  of  Agache.  As  a  pupil  at  the  Academy,  Richard  Bergh 
was  called  by  his  comrades  the  Swedish  Bastien-Lepage.  The 
tender  absorption  in  nature  and  the  quiet,  contemplative  method 
of  his  father,  Edvard  Bergh,  is  peculiar  to  him  too.  "The 
Hypnotic  Stance,"  which  made  him  first  known  in  the  Paris 
Salon,  was  rather  a  transient  concession  to  the  style  of  Gervex 
than  the  expression  of  Bergh's  own  temperament.  He  paints 
best  when  he  represents  the  people  whom  he  best  knows,  and 


Stockholm  :  BonnurJ] 
ZoRN :  Portrait  of  his  Mother  and  Sister. 


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MODERN  PAINTING 


his  intimate  portraits  of 
members  of  his  family  and 
of  particular  friends  only 
find  their  counterpart  in 
corresponding  likenesses 
by  Bastien-Lepage,  Spe- 
cially charming  was  the 
simple  picture  of  his  wife 
which  he  sent  in  1886  to 
the  Paris  Salon :  a  young 
woman  with  a  bright  and 
yet  thoughtful  look,  who 
is  sitting  with  a  piece  of 
white  material  upon  her 
knees  and  her  arms  crossed 
in  her  lap  ;  she  has  just 
left  off  sewing,  and  is 
looking  dreamily  before 
her.  The  pretty  studio 
picture  "  After  the  Sitting," 
with  the  young  model 
dressing  with  a  tired  air ;  the  landscape  "  Towards  Evening," 
Tiarmonized  entirely  in  yellow,  and  slightly  tinged  by  qualities  of 
the  Scotch  school,  with  a  fair  peasant  girl  sitting  upon  a  hill 
with  the  evening  sun  pouring  over  her ;  and  several  other  land- 
scapes with  young  ladies  dreaming  in  a  lonely  park,  themselves 
bright  and  tender  like  the  Northern  summer,  were  further 
•evidences  of  his  refined  and  sympathetic  art 

The  most  deft  and  ultra-modern  of  these  men  is  Anders  Zom, 
From  the  first  day  his  whole  career  was  one  continuous  triumph. 
He  was  a  peasant  boy  from  Dalame,  and  he  had  left  the  school 
at  Einkoping,  when  he  came  in  1875  to  Stockholm,  at  first  with 
the  intention  of  becoming  a  sculptor.  Even  as  a  boy  he  had 
•carved  animals  in  wood  while  out  in  the  pastures,  and  then 
coloured  them  with  fruit-juice.  At  school  he  painted  portraits 
from  nature,  without  having  ever  worked  on  the  usual  drawing 
models  for  copying.     Thus  he  acquired  early  a  keen  eye  for  form 


Stockholm:  Bonnier, "l 

Zorn:   "The  Omnibus." 


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and  character,  and  adhered 
to  this  vivifying  principle 
when  in  later  years  he 
began  at  the  Academy  to 
paint  little  scenes  from 
the  life  of  the  people 
around  his  home.  An 
exhibition  for  the  work  of 
pupils  brought  him  his 
earliest  success.  He 
painted  the  portrait  of  a 
girl  in  mourning,  a  little 
picture  full  of  delicate 
feeling,  in  which  the 
piquant  black  veil  specially 
roused  the  admiration  of 
all  ladies.  From  that 
time  he  had  quantities  of 
orders  for  portraits.  He 
painted  children  and 
ladies     with     or     without 

veils,  and  was  the  lion  of  the  Academy.  With  the  sums  which 
he  was  enabled  to  save  through  these  commissions  he  left  home,, 
and,  after  a  circular  tour  through  Italy  and  Spain,  he  landed 
in  London  in  1885,  and  took  a  studio  there  in  the  most 
fashionable  part  of  the  town.  And  purchasers  and  visitors 
anxious  to  order  pictures  came  quickly.  Making  London  his 
headquarters,  he  led  a  life  of  constant  movement,  emerging  now 
in  Spain  or  Morocco,  now  in  Constantinople  or  at  home.  His 
field  of  work  was  changed  just  as  often,  and  the  development  of 
his  power  was  rapid.  He  painted  quantities  of  pictures  in  water- 
colours — old  Spanish  beggars  and  gipsy  women,  Swedish  children 
and  English  girls.  And  he  touched  them  all  in  a  manner  that 
was  fresh,  wayward,  piquant,  and  full  of  charm,  and  with  a 
dexterity  quite  worthy  of  Boldini.  In  his  next  period  Swedish 
open-air  motives  were  what  principally  occupied  this  painter,  who 
was   always  seeking    some  new   thing.      Having   busied   himself 


Stockholm  :  Bonnier.} 
Zorn:   "The  Ripple  of  the  Waves.'* 


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382  MODERN  PAINTING 

with  river  motives  in  England,  he  now  began  at  Dalaro  to  study 
^aves.  The  large  water-colour  picture  called  "The  Ripple  of 
the  Waves"  represented  a  quiet  lake,  the  clear  mirror  of  which 
rippled  lightly  beneath  the  soft  evening  wind.  A  pair  of  summer 
visitors,  a  lady  and  gentleman,  are  sitting  upon  a  jetty,  and  in 
front  a  washerwoman  is  talking  with  a  boatman  who  is  passing 
T>y.  A  quick  eye  and  a  sure  hand  are  requisites  for  painting 
tiie  sea.  In  its  eternal  alternation  of  ebb  and  flow  it  leaves  the 
painter  no  time  for  deliberate  study.  Zom  attacked  the  problem 
again  and  again,  until  he  finally  solved  it.  His  first  oil 
picture,  exhibited  in  Paris  and  acquired  by  the  Mus6e  Luxem- 
bourg, rendered  the  peaceful  hour  when  daylight  yields  softly  to 
the  radiance  of  the  moon :  an  old  seaman  and  a  young  girl  are 
looking  thoughtfully  from  a  bridge  down  into  a  river.  His  next 
picture  he  called  "Oiit  of  Doors."  Three  girls  are  standing 
naked  on  the  shore  after  bathing,  whilst  a  fourth  is  still  merrily 
splashing  in  the  water.  After  this  picture  he  became  famous  in 
France.  Everything  in  it  had  been  boldly  delineated.  The  water 
lived,  and  rocked,  and  rippled.  The  reflections  of  the  light  and 
the  thousand  rosy  tints  of  evening  were  rendered  with  extreme 
:sensitiveness  of  feeling,  and  played  tenderly  and  lightly  on  the 
water  and  the  nude  bodies  of  the  women.  And  how  natural 
were  the  women  themselves,  how  unconsciously  graceful,  as  if 
they  had  no  idea  that  a  painter's  eye  was  resting  upon  them ! 

Zom  has  painted  much  of  the  same  kind  since  :  women 
before  or  after  bathing,  sometimes  enveloped  in  the  grey 
atmosphere,  sometimes  covered  by  the  waves  or  the  gleaming 
light  of  the  sky. 

The  most  refined  picture  of  all  was  a  sketch  exhibited  in 
Munich  in  1892,  and  now  in  the  possession  of  Edelfelt  It 
made  such  a  bright  and  light  effect,  it  was  so  simple  and 
entirely  natural,  that  one  quite  forgot  what  sovereign  mastery 
was  requisite  to  produce  such  an  impression.  The  same  bold 
<:onfidence  which  knows  no  difficulties  makes  his  interiors  and 
likenesses  an  object  of  admiration  to  the  eye  of  every  painter. 
As  he  stood  on  a  level  with  Cazin  in  his  bathing  scenes,  he 
•stands  here  on   a   level   with  Besnard.     In  his   picture  of  1892 


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the  spectator  looked  into  the  interior  of  an  omnibus.  Through 
the  windows  fell  the  dim  light  of  a  grey  afternoon  in  Paris, 
and  carried  on  a  vivid  combat  with  the  light  of  the  gas-lamps 
upon  the  faces  of  the  men  and  women  inside.  The  study  of 
light  in  the  treatment  of  a  woman  asleep  beneath  the  lamp 
almost  excelled  similar  efforts  of  the  French  in  its  delicate 
effect  of  illumination.  A  ball  scene  made  a  fine  and  animated 
impression  elsewhere  only  to  be  found  in  the  works  of  the 
American  Stewart.  His  portraits  give  the  feeling  that  they 
must  have  been  painted  at  a  stroke :  they  have  a  sureness  in 
characterization  and  a  simple  nobility  of  colour  which  admit 
of  a  manifold  play  of  tones  within  the  very  simplest  scale. 
Even  his  etchings,  although  they  are  summary  and  merely 
indications,  find  their  like  in  spirit  and  piquancy  only  in  those 
of  Legros.  Zorn  is  the  most  dexterous  of  the  dexterous,  a 
conjurer  whose  hand  follows  every  glance  of  his  marvellously 
organized  eye,  as  if  by  some  logical  law  of  reflex  action — a 
man  who  can  do  everything  he  wishes,  who  rejoices  in  experiment 
for  its  own  sake,  one  who  never  ceases  conquering  new 
difficulties  in  mere  play,  in  every  new  work.  He  is  a  Frenchman 
in  his  bravura  and  bold  technique,  and  in  this  mundane  grace 
he  is  as  typical  of  the  Swedish  art  of  the  present  as  Johansen  is 
of  Danish  art  in  his  simple,  provincial  intimacy  of  emotion. 


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CHAPTER    XLII 

NORWAY 

Previous  history  of  Norwegian  art:  J.  C  Dahl  and  his  import- 
ance; Fearnley^  Frich, — The  DUsseldorf  period:  Adolf  Tidemand, 
Hans  Gude^  Vincent  Stoltenberg-Lerche,  Hans  Dahl,  Carl  Hansen, 
Niels  Bj&rnson-Mdller ,  August  Cafpelen,  Morten- MUller,  Ludwig 
Munthe,  E.  A,  Normann,  Knud  Bergs  lien,  Nicolai  Arbo, — 
From  the  middle  of  the  seventies  Munich  becomes  the  high-school 
of  Norwegian  art,  and  from.  1880  Paris.  —  Norwegians  who 
remained  in  Germany  and  Paris:  M*  Grdnvold,  J,  Ekendes, 
Carl  Frithjof- Smith,  Grimelund.  —  Those  who  return  home  be- 
come the  founders  of  a  national  Norwegian  art:  Otto  Sinding, 
Niels  Gustav  Wenzel,  Jdrgensen,  Kolstoe,  Christian  Krohg, 
Christian  Skredsvig,  Eilif  Peterssen.  —  The  landscape  -  ^inters : 
Johan  Theodor  Eckersberg,  Amandus  Nilson,  Fritz  Thaulam, 
Ge^'hard  Munthe,  Dissen,  Skramstadt,  Gunnar  Berg,  Edvard^ 
Dircks,  Eylof  Soot,  Carl  Uckermann,  Harriet  Backer,  Kitty 
Kielland,  Hansteen,  —  Illustration :  Erik  Werenskiold, — Finnish 
art:    EdelfelL 

THE  Norwegians  made  their  entry  into  modern  art  with 
almost  greater  freedom  and  boldness. 
What  a  powerful  reserve  modern  art  possesses  in  nationalities 
which  are  not  as  yet  broken  in  by  civilization — nationalities 
which  approach  art  free  from  aesthetic  prejudice,  with  the  youngs 
bright  eyes  of  the  children  of  nature — is  most  plainly  shown 
in  the  case  of  the  Norwegians.  That  which  is  an  acquired 
innocence,  a  naivete  intelligente  in  nations  which  have  been  long 
civilized,  is  with  them  natural  and  unconscious.  They  had  no 
necessity  to  free  themselves  with  pains  from  the  yoke  of  false 
principles  of  training  which  pressed  in  other  countries  upon  all 
the  moderns.  They  were  not  immured  for  long  years  in  the 
cells  of  the  Ecole  des  Beaux-Arts,  they  did  not   need  to  fight 

384 


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NOJRWAY  385 

the  battles  which  the  strongest  had  to  wage  elsewhere,  before 
they  could  find  nature  and  themselves.  As  beings  who  had 
never  had  a  share  in  any  artistic  phase  of  the  past,  and  who* 
had  grown  up  without  much  academical  instruction,  they  began 
to  represent  the  soil  and  the  people  of  their  home  with  a 
clearness  of  vision  peculiar  to  races  in  direct  contact  with 
nature,  and  with  a  technique  as  primitive  as  if  brush  and 
pigments  had  been  invented  for  themselves.  For  this  reason,, 
of  course,  the  barbarism  of  the  uneducated  nature  which  enters 
the  world  of  art  as  a  stranger  is  often  betrayed  in  their  works 
even  now.  As  yet  they  have  not  had  time  to  refine  their 
ideas,  to  adorn  and  embellish  them :  they  display  them  entirely 
naked ;  they  are  unable  to  subdue  their  strong  sense  of  reality,, 
breaking  vehemently  forth,  to  a  cogent  harmony.  Their  art 
is  sturdy  and  sanguine,  and  occasionally  crude;  even  in  colour 
it  is  hard  and  brusque,  and  peculiarly  notable  for  a  cold  red 
and  a  dull  violet — those  hues  so  popular  even  in  the  painting 
of  Norwegian  houses.  The  taste  of  an  amateur  formed  on 
the  old  masters  would  be  infallibly  shocked  with  their  glaring 
light,  and  those  offensive  tones  which  recur  in  their  interiors,, 
in  their  costumes  and  furniture.  Indeed  Norwegian  painting 
is  still  in  leading  strings.  But  it  will  cast  them  aside.  The 
inherent  individuality  which  it  has  already  developed  makes 
that  a  certainty. 

Norway  can  look  back  to  a  great  past  in  art  even  less 
than  Denmark.  What  was  produced  in  earlier  times  has  only 
an  architectonic  interest.  The  history  of  painting  begins  for 
them  with  the  nineteenth  century,  and  even  then  it  has  na 
quiet  course  of  development  For  the  student  the  earliest  name 
of  importance  in  that  history  is  Johann  Christian  Dahl,  who  in 
the  twenties  opened  the  eyes  of  German  painters  to  the  charm, 
which  nature  has  even  in  her  simplicity.  He  was  followed  in 
the  mother-country  by  Feamley  and  Frichy  who  depicted  with 
a  loving  self-abandonment,  not  alone  the  romantic  element  in 
Northern  scenery,  huge  blue-black  cliflTs,  dark  and  silent  fjords,, 
and  dazzling  glaciers,  but  the  gentle  valleys  and  soft  unobtrusive 
hills  of  Ostland.       The  first  figure-painter,  the   Leopold   Robert 


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386  MODERN  PAINTING 

of  the  North,  was  Adolf  Tidemand,  with  whom  began  the 
Diisseldorfian  period  of  Norwegian  art.  The  younger  men  oi 
talent  gathered  round  him  and  Gude,  who  came  to  Diisseldorf 
in  1 84 1,  four  years  later.  Vincent  Stoltenberg-Lerche  painted 
the  interiors  of  monasteries  and  churches,  which  he  utilized  for 
genre  pictures,  filling  them  in  with  suitable  accessory  figures 
,d  la  Griitzner.  Hans  Dakl  produced  village  idylls  A  la  Meyerheim, 
and  survived  into  times  when  something  more  true  and  forcible 
was  demanded  from  art.  Carl  Hansen,  who  has  now  settled 
in  Copenhagen,  began  with  genre  scenes  under  the  influence 
•of  Vautier,  and  afterwards  acquired  a  prepossessing  distinction 
of  colour  in  such  pictures  as  "  The  Salmon-Fishers,"  "  Sentence 
of  Death,"  "The  Lay  Preacher,"  and  others  of  the  same  type. 
Niels  Bjomson-M oiler ^  August  Cappelen,  Morten-MuUer,  Ludwig 
Munthe,  and  Normann  glorified  the  majestic  configurations  of 
the  fjords,  the  emerald-green  walls  of  cliff,  the  cloven  dingles 
of  the  higher  mountains,  the  fir-woods  and  the  splendour  of 
the  Lofoten.  With  the  sleights  of  art  which  they  had  acquired 
at  Diisseldorf  there  were  some  who  even  attempted  to  work 
upon  scenes  from  the  Northern  mythology.  Knud  Bergslien 
represented  people  in  armour  flying  across  the  whitened  plains 
in  huge  snowshoes,  giving  as  the  titles  of  his  pictures  names 
ohosen  from  the  Viking  period.  Trained  from  1851  under 
Sohn  and  Hunten,  Nicolai  Arbo  became  the  Rudolf  Henneberg 
of  the  North.  The  National  Gallery  of  Christiania  possesses  an 
"  Ingeborg "  from  his  hand,  and  a  "  Wild  Hunt,"  in  which  the 
traditional  heroic  types  are  transformed  into  Harold,  Olaf,  Odin, 
and  Thor,  by  a  change  in  their  attributes. 

All  these  painters  betrayed  no  marks  of  race.  Schooled  abroad, 
and,  to  some  extent,  working  away  from  Norway  throughout 
their  lives,  they  merely  reflect  tendencies  which  were  dominant 
in  foreign  parts.  In  fact  Norwegian  art  only  existed  because 
a  corner  was  conceded  to  it  in  public  and  private  galleries  in 
alien  countries.  "  National "  it  first  became  twenty  years  2^0, 
like  Swedish  art,  and  its  development  proceeded  in  a  similar 
fashion. 

Like  the  Swedes,  the  Norwegians  had,  from  the  close  of  the 


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NORWAY  387 

sixties,  a  suspicion  that  Diisseldorf  was  no  longer  the  proper 
place  for  their  studies ;  and  when  Gude  was  called  thence  to 
Carlsruhe,  the  Academy  of  the  Rhineland  was  no  longer  a  gather- 
ing-place for  Norwegian  students.  Some  followed  him  to  Baden, 
but  the  majority  repaired  to  Munich,  where  Makart  had  just 
painted  his  earliest  marvels  of  colour,  where  Lenbach  and  Defregger 
had  begun  their  career,  and  Piloty,  Lindenschmit,  and  Diez  were 
famous  teachers.  But  their  sojourn  by  the  Isar  was  not  of  long 
duration  either.  While  they  were  working  there  Liebermann 
came  back  with  new  views  of  art  from  Paris.  Through  the 
brilliant  appearance  made  by  the  French  at  the  Munich  Ex- 
hibition of  1878,  their  gaze  was  turned  in  a  yet  more  westerly 
direction.  So  they  deserted  the  studios  of  Lindenschmit  and 
Lofftz  for  those  of  Manet  and  Degas,  and  left  the  contemplative 
life  of  Munich  for  the  surging  world  of  art  in  Paris. 

The  last  and  decisive  step  was  their  return  home.  M.  Gronvold 
and  /.  Ekendes  in  Munich,  C.  Frithjof- Smith  in  Weimar,  and 
Grimelund  in  Paris  are  probably  the  only  Norwegians  who  are 
now  working  abroad.  In  the  later  and  more  forcible  men  there 
was  strengthened  that  sentiment  for  home  which  has  such  a 
fertilizing  power  in  art.  Having  learnt  their  grammar  in  Germany 
and  their  syntax  in  Paris,  they  borrowed  from  the  works  of  the 
modern  French  the  further  lesson  that  an  artist  derives  his 
strength  from  the  soil  of  his  mother-country.  And  since  then  a 
Norwegian  art  has  been  developed.  In  the  distant  solitudes  of 
the  North,  on  their  snowfields  and  Qords  and  meadows,  the 
former  pupils  of  Diez  and  Lindenschmit  became  the  great 
original  painters  whom  we  now  admire  so  much  in  exhibitions. 

Men  of  various  and  ductile  talent,  like  Otto  Sinding,  are  but 
little  characteristic  of  Northern  sentiment.  During  his  long 
residence  in  Carlsruhe,  Munich,  and  Berlin,  he  was  aflfected  by 
too  many  influences,  and  swayed  by  too  many  tendencies,  from 
those  of  Riefstahl  and  Gude  to  those  of  Boecklin  and  Thoma, 
to  proceed  in  any  determined  direction.  With  "The  Surf"  he 
made  his  first  appearance,  in  1870,  as  a  richly  endowed  marine- 
painter  ;  in  his  "  Struggle  at  the  Peasant  Wedding "  he  was  a 
genre  painter  after  the  manner  of  Tidemand;  to  his"  Ruth  amongst 


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388  MODERN  PAINTING 

the  Workers  of  the  Field  "  Bastien-Lepage  had  stood  godfather ; 
several  bathing  scenes  and  peasant  pictures  recalled  Riefetahl, 
and  his  "  Mermaid "  suggested  Thoma.  Once,  indeed,  at  the 
annual  exhibition  of  1891  at  Munich,  it  seemed  as  if  he  had 
come  to  feel  at  home  on  Northern  soil.  There  he  exhibited  a 
beautiful  picture  of  the  Lofoten,  '*  Laplanders  greeting  the  Return 
of  the  Sun,"  and  a  couple  of  peasant  pictures  which  gave  a  delicate 
interpretation  of  the  grave  melancholy  life  of  the  North,  There 
was  a  peaceful  picture  of  evening,  one  of  sheep  grazing  on  the 
gentle  declivity  of  a  mountain.  The  day  had  sunk,  and  a  glimmer- 
ing Northern  twilight  rested  over  the  hills,  upon  which  a  silvery 
light  was  falling  from  the  clear  vault  of  the  sky.  He  had  also 
a  soft,  delicate,  languishing  picture  of  spring,  with  rosy  boughs 
laden  with  blossom,  stretching  along  a  verdant  mountain  country, 
and  on  the  far  side  of  a  blue  lake  cliffs,  still  covered  with  dazzling 
snow,  rose  into  the  clear  sky.  A  strange  magic  lay  in  this  contrast 
between  frost  and  blossom  :  it  was  as  if  a  gentle  breath  of  spicy 
fragrance  rose  from  a  snowiield,  or  as  if  the  splash  of  rushing 
mountain  streams  were  sounding  in  the  air  of  spring.  But  in 
the  following  year  he  appeared  once  more  with  fantasies  in  the 
style  of  Boecklin — pieces  which  merely  recalled  Boecklin,  and  not 
Sinding.  Artistic  polish  has  robbed  him  of  all  directness.  In 
fact  he  is  a  man  of  talent,  pushing  his  feelers  into  everything 
and  drawing  them  back  with  the  same  ease ;  a  sensibility  to 
impressions  which  never  wearies  is  his  quality,  and  instability  his 
defect. 

Almost  all  the  others  stand  firmly  on  the  soil  of  their  country, 
which  has  not  been  levelled  by  foreign  civilization,  and  they  are 
in  every  sense  its  children.  And  it  is  curious  to  note  that,  even 
in  three  countries  closely  united  by  race,  religion,  and  language, 
like  Denmark,  Norway,  and  Sweden,  the  modem  principle  of 
individuality  expressed  itself  in  works  of  a  distinctive  character. 
As  the  Danes  are  yielding  and  thoughtful,  vague  and  misty, 
and  the  Swedes  elastic,  graceful,  mundane,  and  refined,  the  Nor- 
v/egians  are  rough,  angular,  and  resolute.  There  is  a  similar 
difference  between  the  three  dialects  :  the  language  of  the  Swedes 
has  a  vivid,  emphatic,  Parisian  note  ;  that  of  the  Danes  runs  in 


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JVOJ^IVAV  389 

a  soft  lisping  chant ;  while  Norwegian  speech  is  clear,  simple, 
and  positive,  although  when  written  it  is  almost  the  same  as 
the  Danish.  Provincial  geniality  and  loving  tenderness  are 
in  the  ascendant  amongst  the  Danes ;  urbane  grace,  winning 
refinement,  and  mundane  polish  amongst  the  Swedes;  and  in 
the  Norwegians  there  is  a  robust  strength,  something  ascetic, 
honest,  and  at  once  brusque  and  warm-hearted,  an  eafnest 
and  quite  unvarnished  sincerity.  One  feels  that  one  is  in  a 
country  inhabited  by  a  rude,  scattered  population,  a  nation  of 
fishers  and  peasants.  Stockholm  is  the  Athens  and  Christiania 
the  Sparta  of  the  North,  and  Norway,  in  general,  the  great 
fish-receptacle  of  Europe.  Its  principal  sources  of  income  are 
the  products  of  the  sea  :  cod,  cod-liver-oil,  herrings,  and  fish- 
guano.  In  no  country  in  the  world  has  man  such  a  hard  fight 
with  nature.  And  so  it  is  that  the  Norwegian  people  seem  so 
quiet,  inflexible,  and  composed,  such  veritable  men  of  iron. 
Denmark  is  a  prosperous  country,  and  its  landscape  is  soft  and 
without  salient  form.  Its  people  have  the  struggle  of  life  behind 
them.  It  is  not  merely  the  thousands  of  villas  in  the  towns 
that  are  neat  and  trim,  for  the  country  farms  are  so  pleasantly 
arranged,  and  so  spick-and-span,  that  they  might  be  taken  for 
summer  residences  where  guests  of  the  educated  class  are  mas- 
querading in  rustic  dress.  In  Norway,  where  nature  takes 
unusually  bold  proportions,  man  has  still  something  of  the  iron 
rusticity  of  a  vanished  age  of  heroes,  and  a  tourist  moves 
amongst  the  old  tobacco-chewing  sailors,  with  their  horny  hands, 
their  leather  trousers,  and  their  red  caps,  as  amongst  giants. 
These  people,  who  are  unwieldy  ashore,  look  like  antediluvian 
kings  of  the  sea  when  they  stand  in  their  skiffs.  And  the 
painters  themselves  have  also  something  rough  and  large-boned, 
like  the  giants  they  represent.  Everything  they  produce  is 
healthy  and  frank.  The  air  one  breathes  in  their  work  is  not 
the  atmosphere  of  the  sitting-room,  but  has  the  strong  salt  of 
the  ocean,  a  freshness  as  invigorating  as  a  sea-bath.  They 
approach  p/etn  air  with  an  energy  that  is  almost  rude,  and  paint 
under  the  open  sky  like  people  who  are  not  afraid  of  numb 
fingers.     The  trenchant  poetry  of  Northern  scenery  and  the  deep 


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39© 


MODERN  PAINTING 


Com,  dgs  Btaux-Arts.] 


Wekzel:   "Morning." 


[Artisit 


religious  feeling  of  the  people  find  grave  and  measured  expres- 
sion in  the  works  of  Norwegian  artists.  They  look  at  life  with 
keen  bright  eyes,  and  paint  it  in  its  true  colours,  as  it  is,  simply 
and  without  making  pictorial  points,  without  embellishment,  and 
without  any  effort  after  "style."  Such  is  the  clear  and  most 
realistic  ideal  of  the  young  Norwegian  painters. 

Niels  Gustav  Wenzel,  JOrgensen,  Kolstoe,  and  Christian  Krohg 
are  names  which  form  the  four-leaved  clover  plant  of  Norwegian 
fisher-painting. 

Wenzely  who  went  straight  from  his  native  country  to  Paris, 
excited  general  indignation  when  he  exhibited  in  Christiania 
his  first  naturalistic  and  uncompromising  pictures,  which  were 
almost  glaring  in  their  effects  of  light.  One  of  them,  "  Morning," 
represented  a  number  of  good  people  grouped  round  a  table,  at 
the  hour  when  blue  daylight  and  lamplight  are  at  odds.  This 
light  was  so  trenchantly  painted  that  the  figures  had  yellow 
rims  thrown  full  on  their  faces.      Around   these  stood   uncouth. 


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NORWAY 


391 


old-fashioned  presses 
and  benches,  firm, 
clumpy  chairs,  look- 
ing as  if  they  had 
stood  for  centuries 
in  the  same  place, 
and  must  have  been 
once  used  by  a  de- 
parted generation  of 
greater  and  stronger 
beings.  Door  and 
window  looked  out 
upon  log-houses  and 
the  Norwegian  high- 
land scenery.  In  a 
second  picture, "  The 
Confirmation  Feast," 
he  roused  a  feeling 
akin  to  compassion 
for  the  poor  people 
he  represented, 
people  whose  life 
runs   by   quiet   and  void  of  poetry  even  at  their  festivities. 

It  must  be  owned  that  Jorgensen  has,  likewise,  a  heavy  hand, 
yet  he  gives  an  earnest  and  essentially  true  rendering  of  the  life 
of  labourers  out  of  work,  men  staring  vacantly  before  them, 
women  with  tired  faces,  and  the  cold  light  relentlessly  exposing 
the  poverty  of  little  rooms. 

Under  Lindenschmit  Kolstoe  had  already  made  many  experi- 
ments in  the  treatment  of  light;  then  he  painted  landscapes  in 
Capri,  and  lamplight  studies  in  Paris,  which  were  as  glaring  as- 
they  were  sincere.  At  present  he  lives  in  Bergen.  His  fishers 
are  as  large  and  wild  as  kings  of  the  sea. 

But  by  far  the  most  powerful  of  these  painters  of  fishermen 
is  Christian  Krohg,  who  is  equally  impressive  as  an  author  and 
as  an  artist.  He  is  now  a  man  upwards  of  forty,  and  first  took 
up  painting  in  1873  21^^^  he  had  passed  his  examination  for  the: 


Scribnn's  Mageuint.] 

Krohg:  "The  Struggle  for  Existence." 


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392  MODERN  PAINTING 

tar.  Gude  attracted  him  to  Carlsruhe,  where  he  worked  under 
•Gussow,  and  when  the  latter  was  summoned  to  Berlin  he  followed 
him,  and  stayed  there  three  years.  In  1880  he  was  in  Paris, 
where  he  was  affected  by  Naturalism  in  art  and  literature,  by 
Zola  and  by  Roll.  With  these  views  he  returned  to  Christiania. 
Krohg  is,  indeed,  a  naturalist  who  has  often  a  brutal  actuality, 
a  painter  of  great  and  Herculean  power.  He  seeks  the  truth, 
the  whole  truth,  and  nothing  but  the  truth.  As  the  author  of 
the  social  novel  Albertine  he  made  a  name  even  before  he  had 
worked  with  the  brush,  and  pictures  of  the  poor  or  scenes  from 
sick-rooms  were  his  first  artistic  efforts.  In  one  there  sits  a 
poor,  hard-featured  sempstress,  working  busily  by  the  dim  lamp- 
light, whilst  the  grey,  lowering  dawn  has  already  begun  to  peer 
through  the  window.  In  another  a  doctor  has  been  called  from 
^  brilliantly  lighted  reception-room  to  the  side  of  the  poor 
woman  who  stands  shivering  with  cold  in  the  dark  ante-chamber. 
The  large  picture  in  the  National  Gallery  of  Christiania,  "The 
Struggle  for  Existence,"  makes  a  strange,  gloomy  impression ; 
there  is  a  snowy  street  in  the  wintry  dawn,  and  before  the  door 
of  a  house  a  pushing,  elbowing  crowd,  where  the  various  figures 
tell  their  tale  of  misery  in  all  keys.  From,  the  door  a  hand  is 
thrust  out  distributing  bread ;  otherwise  the  street  is  empty, 
except  for  a  policeman  in  the  distance,  who  is  sauntering  in- 
differently upon  his  beat,  while  elsewhere  profound  peace  is 
resting  over  Christiania.  And  he  reached  the  extreme  of  merciless 
reality  in  his  picture  of  a  medical  examination  in  a  bare  room 
at  a  police-station,  with  the  grey  daylight  streaming  in. 

Yet  Krohg's  proper  domain  is  not  that  of  Zolaism  in 
pigments,  but  the  representation  of  Norwegian  pilots.  The 
steaming  atmosphere  of  rooms  which  filled  his  earliest  pictures 
is  changed  in  his  later  works  for  the  fresh  sea-air  sweeping 
keen  over  the  salt  tide.  Krohg  knows  the  sea  and  seamen, 
the  battle  of  man  with  the  icy  waters.  What  splendid  figures 
he  has  represented,  men  with  muscles  as  hard  as  steel,  bronzed 
faces,  oilskin  caps,  and  blue  blouses!  How  boldly  they  are 
placed  upon  the  canvas,  with  great  sweeps  of  colour,  while  the 
--cutting  air  blows  in  their  faces !     When  Krohg  paints  the  part 


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NORIVAY 


393 


Ga».  </<M  B4aux-Aris,] 


Skredsvig:  '*Mix>summbr  Night." 


of  a  ship,  it  is  fearlessly  cut  off,  and  though  the  waves  are 
not  seen  they  are  felt  none  the  less.  How  impressive  is  the 
sailor  standing  upon  the  ship's  bridge,  taking  observations  of 
the  weather,  and  the  pilot  spreading  out  the  chart  in  the 
cabin !  Even  Michael  Ancher,  who  was  with  Krohg  in  Skagen, 
is  a  dwarf  in  comparison. 

Christian  Krohg's  pictures  are  downright,  but  thoroughly 
healthy.  And  when,  for  the  sake  of  a  change,  he  paints  a 
pretty  fisher-girl  in  the  fresh  light  of  spring,  this  brusque 
naturalist  can  be  delicate,  and  this  large-thewed  artist  becomes 
gentle. 

Christian  Skredsvig  and  Eilef  Petcrssen  represent  this  gentler 
side  of  Norwegian  art.  There  is  a  soft  kernel  beneath  the  rough 
husk,  great  tenderness  beneath  a  rude  appearance,  something 
indefinable,  something  like  the  devotion  to  silence. 

Corot  had  been  Skredsvi^s  great  ideal  in  Paris.  He  passed 
through  Normandy,  rendering  the  profound  and  melancholy  spirit 
of  sad,  misty  autumn  days.  He  went  to  Corsica,  and  there  he  saw 
flowery  meadows  and  pleasant  sequestered  nooks,  such  as  no  one 
had  yet  noticed  in  the  coldly  majestic  scenery  of  the  South. 
His  "  Midsummer  Night,"  exhibited  in  the  Paris  Salon  of  1887 
and  afterwards  acquired  by  the  Copenhagen  Gallery,  was  his  first 

VOL.   III.  26 


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394  MODERN  PAINTING 

work  celebrating  the  still  majesty  of  Northern  landscape.  A 
boat  is  gliding  over  the  mirror  of  a  quiet  lake.  The  boatman 
has  left  hold  of  his  oar  to  light  his  pipe,  and  not  a  wave 
troubles  the  peaceful  surface  of  the  water.  A  man  behind  is 
playing  the  harmonica,  and  two  girls  are  listening.  It  is  ten 
o'clock,  and  the  light  dusk  of  summer,  the  suave  magic  of  the 
Northern  nights,  has  shed  over  everything  its  soft  mantle  of 
clear  blue.  In  the  background  the  light  greyish-blue  mountain 
heights  rise  transparent  and  aerial,  like  a  train  of  evening  clouds. 
No  one  utters  a  word,  the  boat  glides  on  its  course  peacefully 
and  inaudibly,  and  the  tones  of  the  harmonica,  borne  by  the 
night-wind,  alone  vibrate  in  silvery  strains  over  the  serene,  faintly 
quivering  water.  Everything  lies  in  a  sort  of  dreamy  half-light,, 
and  the  lake  reflects  the  scene,  dimmed  and  subdued  like  an  echo. 
The  total  effect  stands  alone  in  its  solitude,  peace,  and  freshness. 

In  Munich  Skredsvig  delighted  every  one  in  1891  with  two- 
works.  In  one  which  he  called  "  Evening  Rest "  a  rustic  in 
front  of  a  log-house,  with  his  hands  thrust  into  his  pockets,, 
was  playing  with  a  cat  in  the  grass,  which  fawned  at  his  feet 
Described  in  so  many  words,  it  sounds  like  the  subject  of  a 
genre  picture.  But  in  the  painting  one  was  only  conscious  of  the 
scent  of  the  hay  and  the  field-flowers,  the  sentiment  of  evening 
peace.  The  second  work,  "Water-lilies,"  has  not  its  fellow  for 
familiar  lyrical  poetry ;  three  pale  lilies  are  'floating  in  the  dusk 
upon  quiet  water,  and  that  is  all.  But  out  of  this  Skredsvig^ 
created  a  picture  expressing  a  mood,  and  one  of  profound  feeling,, 
such  as  the  old  painters  never  knew.  A  more  recent  work  made 
a  somewhat  startling  effect.  Uhdc  and  Soeren  Kierkegaard  stood 
godfather  to  his  "Christ  as  Healer  of  the  Sick,"  but  Skredsvig 
went  further  than  Uhde,  by  not  merely  transplanting  his  peasants- 
into  the  nineteenth  century,  but  the  Saviour  Himself  In  the 
foreground  to  the  right  a  countryman  is  driving  his  sick  wife 
past  in  a  cart.  Straight  opposite,  an  old  woman  is  spreading  a 
carpet  for  the  Son  of  Man  to  walk  upon.  From  the  background 
He  is  seen  advancing  in  the  Sunday  garb  of  a  Norwegian  artisaa 
with  a  little  round  hat  in  His  hand.  Children  are  led  to  Him,, 
and  He  blesses  them  tenderly.     Poor  and  simple  folk  are  standing 


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round,  amongst  whom  there,  is  one  who  is  like  a  Protestant 
minister.  Of  late  years  this  religious  painting  has  been  con- 
siderably abused,  but  Skredsvig  made  atonement  by  the  deep- 
earnestness  with  which  everything  was  touched,  as  well  as  by  a 
narvet^  recalling  the  old  masters.  A  trait  of  benevolence  ran 
through  the  picture,  something  biblical  and  patriarchal,  far  re- 
moved from  that  suggestion  of  malicious  narvetd  with  which 
Jean  Beraud  profanes  the  sacred  legends. 

During  his  years  of  study  under  Lindenschmit  Et7t/  Peterssen 
made  a  beginning  with  historical   anecdotes.      "The  Death  of 
Corvis  Uhlfeld,"  "  A  Scholar  in  his  Study,"  and  "  Christian  VI. 
signing  a   Sentence  of  Death,"  were   all   good   costume-pictures 
more  or  less   in   the  style  at  that  time  affected   by  Georg  von 
Rosen  in   Munich.      A  group  from   the    last-mentioned   picture 
he    repeated   in  the   composition    "  Women   in    Church,"    which 
has  the  appearance  of   an   early   Habermann  ;    in  colour  it  is- 
Venetian,  and  it  is  old  German  in  dress.     Love  of  the  Venetian 
colourists,  whom    he  had    already  studied   with    enthusiasm    in 
the  Pinakothek,  induced  him  to  make  a  journey  to  Italy.     He 
was  in   Rome  in   1879,  and   painted   there  a  "  Kiss  of  Judas," 
under    the   influence  of   Titian,  as  well  as    various  altar-pieces- 
for  Norwegian  churches  :  a  "  Repentant  Magdalene,"  an  "  Adora- 
tion of  the  Shepherds,"  and  a  "  Christ  in  Emmaus."     A  picture 
called    "A   Siesta    in    Sora,"  a   group  of  fine   Italian    artisans,, 
showed   that  he  was   b^inning  to   treat   modem    life.      In  his 
"  Piazza  Montenara "  he  produced  a  vivid  and   airy  picture  of 
the    Roman   streets.      And    since    settling    down    in    his   home 
once  more,  in    1883,  he  has  become  a  delicate  and   expressive 
modern    landscapist      His    "Laundresses"    was,   in    1889,  one 
of    the    best    pictures     of    the    Munich    Exhibition,    gleaming 
with    exuberant  colour  and   a    dazzling  glow  of  sunshine.     Irt 
another    pictiu*e    he    represented    nymphs,    in    a    landscape    by^ 
night,  leaning  against  a  tree,  and  softly  touched  by  the  sub- 
dued light    Yet  in  his  "Woodland  Lake"  of  1891   he  achieved 
a  still    more  striking  effect   without   the    aid    of   such    mytho- 
logical beings.     The  still   water,  over  which  the  trees  leaned   so 
dreamily,  was  an   enchanted   lake,  casting   its   spell   over   every^ 


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one   and   holding  him   fast,  a   lake  full  of  quiet  harmonies  and 
soft  dreams. 

And,  in  general,  this  exquisite  delicacy  is  the  note  of  Norwegian 
landscapes.  These  same  angular,  unvarnished  artists  who  face 
objects  with  such  opened-eyed  frankness  in  their  figure-pictures 
show  great  refinement  of  feeling  in  their  landscapes.  Their 
predecessors  had  glorified  only  what  was  romantically  wild  or 
meteorologically  interesting  in  nature  as  she  is  in  Norway,  and  had 
•cultivated,  even  more  than  their  German  colleagues,  that  superficial 
panoramic  painting  which  blazed  out  with  sun,  moon,  and  stars 
to  excite  the  interest  of  tourists.  What  attracted  them  was 
the  element  of  strangeness  in  scenery,  and  what  drew  others  to 
their  pictures  was  the  interest  of  an  album  of  travel.  All  those 
midnight  scenes  glaring  in  blue  and  red,  those  fantastic  beauties 
of  the  Lofoten,  those  flaming  tournaments  between  sunset  and 
dawn,  were  merely  striking  as  curious  phenomena  very  accurately 
rendered  in  an  impersonal  style.  These  landscape-painters 
supplemented  Baedeker  and  corroborated  Passai^e.  They  were 
an  inciting  cause  of  journeys  to  Norway.  Otherwise  their  works 
bore  the  stamp  of  ordinary  prose ;  they  amazed  people  and 
instructed  them,  but  they  could  barely  have  existed  apart  from 
the  mere  interest  of  subject-matter.  The  modems,  who  were 
as  composed  as  the  earlier  painters  were  explosive,  discovered 
Norway  in  its  work-a-day  garb,  the  poetry  of  winter  and  the 
charm  of  spring.  For  them  Norway  was  no  longer  the  land  of 
wild  romance,  of  Alpine  peaks  effectively  lit  up  by  the  limelight 
man,  nor  the  land  of  phenomena  through  which  nature  only 
speaks  with  an  accent  of  vehemence,  but  the  land  of  brightness, 
sunshine,  snow,  and  silence.  Norwegian  landscapes  are,  indeed, 
characterized  by  their  remarkable  and  apparently  exaggerated 
clearness  of  atmosphere,  a  rarefied,  shining,  transparent  atmo- 
sphere where  all  colours  join  in  a  revel  of  brightness.  The  sea, 
the  houses,  the  snowfields,  the  men  and  women  in  their  motley 
garb,  seem  to  sparkle  and  flash  in  the  most  dazzling  tones  ;  every- 
thing is  clear,  aerial,  and  full  of  quivering  light.  Yet  they  are 
exceedingly  simple;  it  almost  seems  as  if  the  painters  beheld 
a  younger  earth   with  fresher   eyes   than   our  own.      The  elder 


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generation  painted  the  dash  of  waterfalls  and  the  devastating 
might  of  the  elements ;  but  nature,  as  seen  by  these  moderns,  is 
as  peaceful  as  it  is  solitary.  In  Danish  landscapes  she  seems  to 
stand  closely  bound  to  man  and  to  be  his  friend.  She  resignsi 
as  it  were,  her  majesty,  to  nestle  round  the  dwellings  of  men,  and 
is  the  medium  of  their  intercourse.  But  in  Norway  everything 
lies  in  ghostly  peace,  as  silent  as  the  grave:  nature  is  austere 
and  vast,  and  all  the  works  of  men  emerge  like  something  forlorn 
and  exceptional  One  artist  celebrates  the  marvellous  splendour 
of  autumn,  when  the  yellow  leaves  of  the  lithe  birches  sparkle 
like  gold  and  their  slender  white  stems  gleam  like  silver.  Another 
renders  lonely  lakes,  where  no  boat  furrows  the  water,  no  human 
being  is  visible,  and  no  shout  is  heard,  where  not  even  a  bird 
is  to  be  seen,  nor  a  fish  darting  to  the  surface.  Here  the  sun 
is  sinking  clear  and  cold  ;  in  its  parting  it  does  not  shed  the 
faintest  gleam  of  purple  over  the  land.  There  it  is  winter, 
which  has  enveloped  the  country  in  a  great,  glittering  mantle 
of  snow.  The  spectator  feels  how  sunny  and  how  cold  it  is  in 
these  Northern  latitudes,  how  the  air  chills  you  to  the  jnarrow^ 
let  the  sea  be  ever  so  blue.  The  atmosphere  has  an  icy  trans- 
parency, the  snow  a  glittering  whiteness.  If  it  is  through  no 
accident  that  the  greatest  landscape-painters  of  the  century 
have  been  city-bred,  it  is  also  comprehensible  that  the  most 
delicate  pictures  of  spring  should  have  been  painted  in  wintry 
Norway.  The  longer  the  spring  is  in  coming,  the  more  men 
know  how  to  prize  it, — that  spring  which  is  not  as  ours,  but  a 
season  less  adorned,  a  season  without  luxuriance,  though  full  of 
fragrance  and  moist,  fertile  warmth,  a  season  rich  in  fine,  tender,, 
yellowish  verdure ;  spring  as  it  is  only  known  in  islands,  where 
the  freshness  of  the  sea  calls  forth  a  succulent  and  yet  pallid 
and  colourless  vegetation. 

Bom  in  1833  i"  Tidemand's  birthplace,  Mandal,  Amandus^ 
Nilson  was  probably  the  first  to  discover  all  these  refinements 
of  Norwegian  scenery.  Having  arrived  at  Diisseldorf  in  i86r> 
he  moved  at  first  entirely  upon  the  lines  of  Gude.  But  after 
he  had  returned  to  Christiania  in  1868,  where  Johann  Tfuodor 
Eckersbergy  who  died  early,  worked  with  him  at  the  time,  Nilson 


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398  MODERN  PAINTING 

entirely  altered  his  style.  While  the  Diisseldorfian  Norwegians 
turned  out  their  works  for  the  market,  Nilson  submitted  himself, 
in  a  simple  and  direct  manner,  to  the  influences  of  Norwegian 
scenery,  in  its  barren  meagreness  and  its  grave  and  severe 
melancholy.  At  first  he  thought  himself  obliged  to  make  con- 
cessions to  the  reigning  taste,  "  rounded  off "  his  pictures,  and 
robbed  them  of  the  freshness  of  work  done  in  the  first  jet  But 
when  he  ventured  to  "  retain  the  result  of  the  sketch  "  the  younger 
men  began  to  honour  him  as  a  forerunner.  Nilson  is  the  real 
autochthonous  Norwegian  landscape-painter  who,  without  having 
■ever  come  in  touch  with  the  Fontainebleau  school,  was  never- 
theless the  first  to  make  their  principles  valid  in  the  North. 
On  his  journey  for  study  through  South  Norway,  where  he  had 
lived  as  a  child,  he  painted  in  a  robust  and  downright  style 
barren  mountains,  and  lonely,  poverty-stricken  houses,  and  hills 
with  a  few  pines  forcing  their  way  from  the  stony  soil  In 
contrast  with  the  works  of  Gude,  which  are  "  seen "  in  a  cool 
and  positive  fashion,  and  painted  well,  in  the  style  of  the  old 
masters,  though  they  display  no  trace  of  temperament,  a  sombre 
and  often  moody  poetry,  which  is  nevertheless  full  of  force 
and  energy,  runs  through  those  of  Nilson.  He  loves  the  poetry 
of  waste  places.  A  melancholy  twilight  rests  over  his  cold, 
snowy  landscapes,  over  his  coasts,  where  the  weary  waves  at 
last  find  rest,  over  his  silent  strands  unbroken  by  a  human 
habitatioa  He  takes  a  peculiar  delight  in  painting  black  autumn 
nights,  where  the  dark  pastures  seem  asleep,  and  the  murmuring 
waves  sing  a  lullaby.  The  emptiness  of  a  vanished  world  broods 
over  his  pictures,  the  love  of  nature  felt  by  a  man  who  is  happiest 
in  the  autumnal  season  and  at  night. 

Fritz  Thaulow^  whose  portrait  has  been  painted  by  Carolus 
Duran — it  is  that  of  an  attractive-looking  man  with  fair  hair  — 
introduced  the  refinements  of  French  technique.  His  favourite 
phases  of  nature  are  the  glitter  of  snow,  the  clear  air  of  winter,  and 
the  sparkle  of  ice;  one  envies  him  the  delightful  nooks  which 
he  discovered  in  the  environs  of  Christiania.  The  usual  elements 
in  Thaulow's  pictures  are  little  red  houses,  lying  deep  in  snow, 
with  great  shining  patches  of  sunlight,  a  clear  sky,  and,  perhaps, 


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1^             "^^BSk^-  ^ 

%F% 

Muntch:  HaMfstOngl,} 


Thaulow:   "Thaw  in  Norway." 


a  peasant  woman  coquettishly  attired,  and  walking  in  boots 
which  are  so  gigantic  that  they  must  have  some  special  name ; 
or  else  a  river  half  choked  with  snow,  or  snow  and  nothing  beside. 
And  how  admirably  this  eternal  snow  is  painted  !  How  blue  and 
still  the  air  is  above !  Not  a  cloudlet  floats  in  the  azure  of  the 
sky.  A  feeling  of  boundless  solitude  is  expressed  in  his  works, 
a  feeling  such  as  steals  over  the  wanderer  in  the  high  mountains 
despite  the  brightness  of  the  snow.  He  awakens  a  longing  for 
those  lonely  fields  of  the  North.  And  this  although  he  is  never 
in  a  proper  sense  expressive  of  "  mood."  In  Munich  one  of  his 
pictures  once  hung  beside  that  of  a  Scotch  painter.  In  the  latter 
there  was  a  deep  and  fervent  passion  for  nature,  and  glowing 
splendour,  and  joy  without  reserve,  melancholy,  sensuousness, 
and  reverie;  in  the  former  clear  and  peaceful  sunshine  over  an 
open  plain,  stillness,  health,  childlike  simplicity,  brightness  of 
vision,  quietude. 

As  Thaulow  had  the  art  of  rendering  winter,  Gerhard  Munthe 
knew  the  secret  of  depicting  the  amenity  of  spring,  its  young 
verdure,    its    budding    leaves — depicting    it     by    a    painting     of 


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Com.  dt9  Beaux-Arts,] 

Weremskiold:   **A  Norwegian  Peasant  Girl." 


[Dujardin  Mio. 


nature  penetrated  through  and  through  with  a  feeling  for  its 
moods.  One  s^^s  in  his  pictures  only  soft,  green  meadows 
gleaming  tenderly  in  a  pale  light  of  noon,  great  cherry-trees 
white  with  blossom,  hanging  beeches,  and  green  fences — so 
green  that  they  seem  to  have  been  painted  with  the  damp 
air  itself  Here  and  there  a  still,  silver-grey  pool  twinkles 
between  the  trees,  or  a  log-house  painted  with  deep  red  emerges 
brightly. 

Dissert,  who  returned  to  Norway  from  Carlsruhe  in  1876,. 
was  won  back  from  Gude,  and  turned  to  the  painting  of  lofty 
cliffs.  He  delights  in  naked  masses  of  rock,  stretching  out  in 
brown  monotony  and  shrouded  in  thick  mist,  glaciers,  and 
Norwegian  waterfalls.  Skramstadt^  who  was  in  Diisseldorf  and 
Munich  in  1873,  has  devoted  himself  to  the  scenery  of  Ostland^ 
and  loves  chill  moods  of  autumn,  clear,  ringing  winter  days^ 
and  snowfields  stretching  to  the  horizon.     For  Northern  Norway 


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401 


Gunnar  Berg  was  in 
painting  what  Jonas 
Lie  was  in  literature. 
On  a  mountain  peak 
high  in  the  Lofoten 
he  has  his  studio, 
the  most  northerly 
in  the  world,  fas- 
tened by  great 
cramp-irons  to  the 
rock.  Here  it  is 
that  Berg,  a  true 
descendant  of  the 
defunct  race  of  Vi- 
kings, paints,  come 
frost  or  rain,  his 
fresh  and  boldly 
naturalistic  pictures. 
Mention  must  like- 
wise be  made  of  the 
dazzling  sea  -  shore 
landscapes  of  Karl  Edvard  Dircks^  and  the  ploughed  fields, 
saturated  with  light  and  exhaling  the  smell  of  the  earth,  which 
are  painted  by  Eylof  Soot,  The  animal  painter  Carl  Uckermann^ 
who,  after  leaving  Munich  in  1880,  became  a  pupil  of  Van 
Marckc  in  Paris,  continues  the  good  traditions  of  Troyon. 
Harriet  Backer  paints  convincing  pictures  of  interiors :  blond 
girls  reading  by  lamplight  in  rooms  which  are  stained  blue. 
Kitty  Kielland^  a  sister  of  the  author  of  that  name,  delights 
in  lonely  woods,  little  white,  red-tiled  houses,  and  dreamy  trees 
casting  reddish  and  pale  green  reflections  on  the  clear  water  of 
still  pools.  A  sense  of  great  peace  underlies  the  seascapes  of 
Hansteen :  rainy  phases  of  morning  on  the  fjord  of  Christiania. 
Grey  is  the  sea,  grey  the  clouds,  grey  and  leaden  the  sky,  and 
all  these  greys  unite  with  the  gloomy  atmosphere  in  creating 
a  grave  and  deep  harmony. 

But    Norway  is   not  alone    the    land   of   snowfields,  but    of 


Scribffurs  MagOMint.} 

Werenskiold:   Bjornstjerne  BjSrnson. 


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Werenskiold:   From  Asbj6rnsen*s  Fairy  Tales. 

fairy  tales  also,  of  giants  and  dragons,  of  nixies  and  the 
daughters  of  c^es.  On  this  ground  of  the  sagas  Erik  Weren- 
skiold  stands  out  as  the  most  poetic  and  creative  of  Norwegian 
artists.  As  a  painter  he  made  his  advance  slowly  and  very 
cautiously.  Upon  the  little  genre  pictures  which  he  painted 
under  Lindenschmit  in  Munich  there  followed  fresh  oi>en-air 
pictures  in  Paris :  "  The  Meeting,"  that  summer  scene,  so  ex- 
pressive of  individual  mood,  with  the  young  peasant  lad  and 
the  girl  greeting  each  other  as  they  pass  in  the  meadow ;  "  The 
Prodigal  Son,"  sitting  ragged  and  famished  upon  a  bench  in 
his  father's  garden.  In  the  Munich  Exhibition  of  1890  there 
was  a  simple  but  deeply  poetic  "Mood  of  Evening,"  which 
was  only  pictorially  effective  by  the  great  contrast  of  the 
broad  green  plain  and  the  clear  ether.  Children  are  walking 
in  a  meadow,  and  a  lonely  cot  rises  in  the  middle  distance. 
A  second  picture,  now  to  be  found  in  the  National  Gallery  of 
Christiania,  represented  a  peasant  burial  with  peculiar  earnestness, 
depth,  and  truthfulness.  In  a  churchyard  bare  of  all  adorn- 
ment, overgrown  with  grass  and  weeds,  and  enclosed  by  walls, 
above  which  were   to    be  seen    the   tops  of  trees  and    a   wide 


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Cop0Hhag9M:  Gyldtndalsk,'] 

Wsrsnskiold:   From  AsbjSrnsen's  Fairy  Tales. 

g^een  land,  there  stand  a  few  peasants  in  their  shirt-sleeves, 
holding  the  pickaxes  and  shovels  with  which  they  have  just  been 
filling  in  a  grave.  A  young  man,  not  wearing  a  particularly 
ecclesiastical  garb,  is. reading  out  a  prayer.  There  is  no  ex- 
citement, and  no  cry  of  sorrow  is  raised.  These  large,  robust 
men  have  done  their  Christian  duty,  and  now  they  are  all  going 
back  to  their  customary  work.  A  still,  warm  summer  air 
quivers  upon  the  hills,  and  rests  gently  upon  the  quiet  gathering. 
But  Werenskiold  is  also  an  excellent  portrait-painter,  and  his 
likenesses  of  Kitty  Kielland,  the  composer  Edvard  Grieg,  and 
the  novelist  BjOrnson  are,  in  their  unvarnished  simplicity,  to 
be  reckoned  amongst  the  best  in  Norwegian  art  That  of 
Bjomson  was,  perhaps,  a  little  forced,  or,  at  any  rate,  showed 
only  one  side  of  Bjomson's  individuality :  in  this  portrait  he  is 
the  great  agitator,  the  tribune  of  the  people,  the  mention  of 
whose  name,  according  to  Brandes,  is  like  hoisting  the  national 
flag  of  Norway.     But   in   these   hard   eyes,  these  tightly  closed 


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404 


MODERN  PAINTING 


Edelfelt:   Pasteur  in  his  Laboratory. 

(By  p^rmtMion  of  Msaars.  Bo$«8»od,  Valadon  &  Co.,  the 

ownen  of  ths  copyright.) 


lips,  and  this  air  of  con- 
centrated energy,  the 
tender  and  sensitive  poet 
and  the  noble  and  warm- 
hearted friend  are  not  to 
be  found.  These,  how- 
ever, are  not  the  works 
which  fully  display  the 
importance  of  Weren- 
skiold.  He  is  only  com- 
pletely himself  when  he 
has  a  pencil  in  his  banc}. 
The  fairy  tales  of  Ander- 
sen, the  stories  of  Christian 
Asbjornsen  and  Jorgen 
Moe,  which  were  pub- 
lished by  Gyldendalsk  in 
Copenhagen  with  draw- 
ings by  Werenskiold,  contain  the  best  that  has  been  done  in 
Norway  in  the  way  of  illustration.  In  their  bizarre  union  of  elfish 
fancy  and  rustic  humour,  these  plates  have  caught  the  spirit  of  the 
Northern  tale  in  a  way  which  is  perfectly  marvellous.  Werenskiold 
makes  you  believe  whatever  he  pleases.  He  has  given  the 
impossible  and  invisible  an  air  of  probability  with  such  con- 
vincing narvetd  that  one  is  tempted  to  believe  that  the  simple 
spirit  of  olden  times  lives  in  the  man  himself.  Fairies  and 
monsters  he  has  seen  hovering  upon  waste  and  heath,  and 
giants  and  enchanted  princesses  dwelling  in  strongholds  of  the 
bygone  world.  Dreamland  and  reality  he  rules  over  with  the 
same  ease,  so  that  he  draws  the  spectator  irresistibly  into  his 
magic  circle.  Black  and  white  suffice  him  for  the  expression 
of  all  the  secrets  of  light.  The  interior  of  peasants'  cottages 
and  wide,  open  nature  are  rendered  alike  by  a  few  strokes 
with  the  whole  force  of  realism ;  and  yet  everything  is  enveloped 
in  a  dim  atmosphere  of  dreams,  from  which  the  supernatural 
arises  of  its  own  accord.  The  hill  above  the  flord  where  the 
three    princesses    sit    and    dream    is    in    Norway,  but    it  is    in 


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NORWAY 


405 


fairyland  too.  The 
little  birch-woods, 
with  their  shining 
boughs,  may  be  seen 
in  every  Norwegian 
landscape,  but  in 
Werenskiold's  draw- 
ings they  are  like 
ms^ic  groves,  where 
the  little  silvery 
trees  bear  golden 
leaves.  With  as 
much  fancy  as  in- 
timacy of  feeling, 
he  knows  how  to 
approach  these  le- 
gends from  all  sides, 
expressing  their 
comicality  and  their 
horrors,  their  child- 
ish laughter  and 
their  virgin  grace, 
the  drollness  of 
gnomes  and  the 
brutality  of  three-headed  giants,  the  primitive  fantasticality  of 
fabulous  animals  dwelling  in  desolate,  rocky  wastes,  the  elfin 
delicacy  of  creatures  pervading  the  air. 

The  art  of  Finland  is  an  appanage  of  that  of  Sweden,  and 
has  gone  through  the  same  French  training.  Its  leading  repre- 
sentative is  Edelfelt^  by  no  means  a  vehement  force  in  art,  but 
a  graceful  and  many-sided  painter,  who  combines  the  healthy 
brightness  of  Scandinavian  vision  with  the  coquettish  chic  of  Paris, 
and  the  pictorial  sensitiveness  of  the  French  with  that  irresist- 
ible breath  of  virginal  freshness  only  to  be  found  in  nationalities 
which  have  never  been  worn  out  The  work  which  first  made 
him  known  was  a  portrait  of  Pasteur,  whom  he  painted  examin- 
ing a   preparation   in   his   laboratory.      In  "The  Women  in  the 


Paris:  Boussod-Valadon.'] 
Edelfelt:  ''Christ  appearing  to  Mary  Magdalene." 


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4o6  MODERN  PAINTING 

Churchyard "  he  produced  a  pretty  picture  of  the  life  of  the 
Finnish  people.  In  "  Boys  Bathing  "  he  painted  the  swing  of 
the  waves,  like  Zorn  ;  the  setting  sun,  in  this  picture,  cast  its 
last  rays  across  quiet  waters,  and  played  gently  over  the  elastic 
young  frames  of  the  bathers.  His  "  Laundry,"  a  harmony  of 
yellow  on  white,  was  one  of  the  pearls  of  the  Munich  Exhibi- 
tion of  1893,  a"d  ^^  "Christ  appearing  to  Mary  Magdalene"  he 
followed  the  lead  of  Uhde,  and  treated  the  theme  as  if  it  were 
a  Finnish  legend.  Christ  stands  in  a  Northern  landscape,  and 
at  His  feet  there  kneels,  not  the  splendid  courtesan  of  the  gospel,, 
but  a  poor  peasant  woman  in  that  heavy  nun-like  costume 
worn  in  the  Baltic  provinces  of  Russia ;  but  indeed  Finland 
belongs  to  the  Empire  of  the  Czar. 


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CHAPTER    XLIII 

RUSSIA 

(In  collaboration  with  Alexander  Benois,  St.  Petersburg) 

The  beginnings  of  Russian  fainting  in  the  eighteenth  century :  Levitzky, 
Rokotav,  Baravikovs^.—The  period  of  Classicism :  Egorov,  UgrH- 
mov,  Andreas  Ivanov,  Theodor  Tolstoi^  Or  est  Kiprensky, — The  first 
painters  of  soldiers  and  peasants :  Orlavsky,  Veneiianov* —  The 
historical  painters :  BrUloVj  Bassin^  Schamschin^  Kapkov,  Flavitzky, 
MolUr,  Hendrik  SiemiradMky,  Bruni,  Neff, — Realistic  reaction: 
Alexander  Ivanov,  Sarjanko,  —  The  genre  painters  :  Sternberg ^ 
Stschedrovsky,  Tschernyschev,  Morosov,  Ivan  Sokolov,  TrutovsJ^^ 
Timm,  Popov,  Shuravlev,  Fedotov. — The  painters  with  a  complaint 
against  society :  Perov,  Pukirev,  Korsuchin^  Prj'anischnikov, 
Savitzkyt  Lemoch,  Verestchagin.—Ths  landscape-painters:  Stsche- 
drin,  Lebedev,  Vorobiev,  Rabus,  Lagorio,  Horavsky,  Bogoliubov^ 
Mestschersky,  Aivasovsky,  TscherneMoff,  Galaktionov,  Schischkin, 
Baron  Klodt,  Orlovsky,  Fedders,  Volkov,  Vassiliev,  Levitan, 
ITuindshi,  Savrassov,  Sudhovshy,  VassnetMov,  Albert  Benois, 
Svjetoslavshy. — Tfie  naturalistic  figure^icture :  Suertschhov,  Peter 
Soholov.—The  wanderers :  Ivan  Kramskoi,  Constantin  and  Vladimir 
Makovsky,  Tschistjakov,  Schwari,  Gay,  Surikov,  Elias  RSpin, 

A  STRANGE  fable  has  currency  amongst  the  Russian  people  ; 
it  is  rather  Oriental  than  Slav  in  its  colour,  and  was  pro- 
bably brought  by  the  Mongols  from  the  highland  desert  to  the 
lowland  Steppes.  Among  these  Steppes,  runs  the  fable,  a  magic 
plant  raises  somewhere — who  knows  where  ? — its  tender  blossom, 
everlastingly  green,  deathless,  and  freed  from  all  the  laws  of 
growth  and  decay.  So  long  as  it  grows  and  blossoms  on  the 
earth  it  cannot  be  perceived,  for  the  reed-grass  and  the  flowers 
of  the  Steppes  lift  their  heads  higher  and  hide  this  tender  plant 
from  view.      But  the  eternally  green   flower   becomes   visible  to 


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4o8  MODERN  PAINTING 

any  one  who  travels  over  the  bald  Steppes  in  the  sad  autumn, 
and  even  from  a  distance  its  fragrance  assures  him  that  it  is 
the  magic  flower  which  he  has  seen.  For  this  fragrance  is 
peculiar  to  itself,  and  ineffably  rich  and  sweet;  it  has  not  its 
like  upon  earth,  to  say  nothing  of  its  equal.  And  if  any  one 
breathes  it  the  whole  world  is  changed  for  him.  He  under- 
stands everything ;  what  is  dumb  speaks  to  him,  and  what  has 
speech  cannot  lie.  Beneath  the  sound  of  a  hypocritical  phrase 
he  penetrates  to  the  most  profoundly  secret  thoughts  ;  animal, 
tree,  and  rock  talk  to  him  with  tones  that  have  a  meaning ;  he 
overhears  nature,  and  learns  how  she  breathes  and  works  and 
creates ;  he  hears  the  song  of  the  stars  in  their  nightly  courses. 
Yet  every  one  becomes  sad  who  has  drunk  in  this  fragrance ; 
every  one  becomes  sad,  for — say  the  poor  folk  in  the  great  plain 
— it  is  not  a  joyous  song  which  vibrates  through  the  universe. 

Now  the  great  Russian  authors  have  wandered  out  in  the 
autumn,  and  have  sought  the  magic  flower  and  found  it  They 
have  understood  the  song  and  grown  wise,  and  tender  and 
pitiful.  "The  sorrow  of  created  things"  has  passed  throi^h 
them  like  a  shudder. 

And,  in  truth,  it  was  under  the  star  of  pessimism  that  mystical, 
credulous  Russia  first  struck  a  grandiose  and  original  note  in  the 
spiritual  concord  of  the  nations. 

The  French  Naturalists  wished  to  create  "human  documents." 
Their  aim  was  the  objective  representation  of  naked  nature. 
Each  individual  man,  they  taught,  was  a  material,  which,  when 
brought  into  contact  with  others,  entered  into  definite  relation- 
ships, and  it  was  the  business  of  the  author,  as  a  man  of 
science,  to  represent  their  character.  In  the  hands  of  the 
Russians  the  living,  suffering  human  spirit  celebrated  its  new 
birth  after  a  long  mortification.  The  monotonous  desolation  of 
the  brown  Steppes  spreading  beneath  a  grey  sky,  the  lament- 
able existence  of  man  in  a  country  over  the  spiritual  life  of 
which  the  thought  of  Siberia  rested  like  a  dark  veil,  induced 
an  infinite  compassion  for  humanity.  Never  has  the  world 
heard  such  repining,  sympathetic,  sorrowfully  resigned,  and 
deep  and   tender  tones,  as   Turgeniev,  Dostoievski,  and  Tolstoi 


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RUSSIA  409s 

reserved  for  their  downtrodden  heroes  :  "  poor  people,  deadened 
souls,  idiots,  branded  and  debased  and  possessed." 

But  has  any  one  of  the  Russian  painters  heard  this  song?" 
In  these  days  there  is  such  a  fervent  longing  for  spiritual  origin- 
ality, freedom  from  scholastic  forms,  and  youthful  inwardness  of 
feeling.  The  world  is  eager  for  something  naTve,  for  a  natural 
art  born  in  a  country  where  there  are  no  museums,  and  amongst 
simple  people ;  it  desires  picturies  like  none  that  have  been 
seen  elsewhere,  it  has  need  of  a  stream  of  fresh  life  and  a  new 
taste  in  art.  The  Russian  authors  are  Russian  in  every  drop- 
of  their  blood.  Nowhere  does  the  bond  between  the  written 
word  and  the  most  secret  sorrows  of  the  nation  seem  more* 
closely  formed.  They  sympathize  with  their  own  race  in  the 
most  direct  fashion,  and  the  beating  of  its  pulse  is  also  theirs. 
Everything  in  their  work  is  pervaded  with  the  odour  of  their 
native  soil,  with  the  sap  of  popular  life.  Their  feeling  for  nature 
adheres  so  closely  to  the  secret  working  of  the  elements,  and 
the  atmosphere  is  so  charged  with  the  germs  of  a  spiritual  life, 
peculiar  in  character,  that  in  Russia,  above  all  countries,  one 
might  expect  an  art  allied  to  the  sturdiest  sentiment  of  nation- 
ality, an  art  laying  bare  the  quivering  nerves  of  the  people,- 
an  art  in  which  violent  sobbing  would  be  united  with  mocking, 
peals  of  merriment,  blithe  laughter  with  gloomy  funereal  bells,, 
feverish  unbridled  wildness  with  sorrowful  abnegation,  the  acrid 
smell  of  brandy  with  devout  mysticism.  One  dreams  of  strange 
things :  knouts  and  sacred  pictures,  desolate  steppes,  plaintive 
gipsy  songs  and  sombre  pine- woods,  moon  and  mist,  death  and 
the  grave,  longing  and  affliction,  the  parching  July  sun  and  rigid 
seas  of  ice ;  men  whose  days  go  by  in  vain  monotony  ;  hollow, 
broken,  somnolent  lives  which  come  and  pass  away  without  needs 
or  desires,  like  grass  by  the  wayside,  regarded  by  no  one  and  by 
no  one  pitied  ;  bold  flaming  spirits  famishing  before  the  pictures 
of  saints  in  religious  stupor ;  high-born  aristocrats  casting  riches 
and  titles  aside,  to  find  their  lost  peace  of  mind  by  working  in  the 
sweat  of  their  brow ;  Cossacks  bounding  upon  fiery  horses  across 
the  endless,  sunny  meadow-plains ;  and  peasant  children  crouching: 
round  the  glimmering  fire  and  telling  each  other  ghost-stories. 
VOL.  III.  27 


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410  MODERN  PAINTING 

But  art  has  to  reckon  with  more  difficult  conditions  than 
literature.  And  indeed  perfect  artistic  form  is  wanting  even 
in  the  works  of  Russian  authors.  In  a  sense,  Tolstoi  and 
Dostoievski  can  do  no  more  with  the  inkpot  than  any  other 
educated  man  who  can  give  clear  expression  to  his  thoughts. 
What  distinguishes  them  is  not  their  facility,  but  their  naturalness 
and  simplicity,  which  so  entirely  retain  the  directness  in  con- 
ception, and  the  freshness  and  vividness  of  the  first  draught, 
that  one  scarcely  thinks  of  the  manner  in  which  their  works 
have  been  produced.  A  French  author  would  have  polished 
the  mere  shell  of  his  book  in  a  different  fashion,  though  he  would 
have  rendered  the  kernel  less  sweet  and  savoury;  and  he  would 
liave  divested  his  ideas  of  their  elementary  force.  In  art,  too,  the 
spirit  is  not  fuUgrown  before  the  body  has  matured ;  thought  and 
feeling  do  not  become  self-conscious  before  the  outward  frame  has 
been  developed  into  clear  and  sensuous  forms.  It  is  the  acquired 
mastery  of  technique  which  is  the  first  condition  for  the  minting 
of  a  spiritual  individuality.  But  Russian  painting  has  not 
yet  arrived  at  this  subtilized  aesthetic  stage.  With  barbarism 
on  one  side  and  civilization  on  the  other,  it  wavers  between 
the  blind  imitation  of  foreign  models  and  the  stiff*,  rude,  and 
awkward  expression  of  inborn  emotion.  Some  have  studied 
diligently  under  foreign  masters,  and  lost  their  individual  character 
in  following  an  alien  style ;  and  in  studiously  pursuing  the 
academical  pattern  they  have  wilfully  suppressed  every  personal 
note.  In  the  case  of  others  it  is  evident  that  they  had  some- 
thing to  express,  feelings  and  desires  of  their  own,  the  special 
secrets  of  their  strange  race,  but  they  failed  to  body  them 
forth ;  they  plagued  themselves,  stuttering  helplessly  in  an  in- 
tractable language  to  which  they  were  not  habituated.  Never- 
theless Russia,  during  the  past  hundred  years,  has  contributed 
to  the  general  development  of  painting  a  creditable  total  of 
artistic  power.  Whereas  the  earlier  period  was  merely  receptive 
of  jejune  impressions  of  foreign  styles,  artists  are  now  in  a  better 
position  to  make  something  of  their  own  from  the  result 
Amongst  the  discoverers  and  initiators  of  European  art  there 
is  certainly  no  Russian  name  to  be  found,  but  there  is  usually 


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RUSSIA  4H 

a  Russian  to  be  jnet  with  amongst  the  followers  of  men  of  other 
nationalities  who  have  broken  new  ground.  And  in  the  annual 
^'wandering  exhibitions,"  as  they  are  called,  there  is  an  increase 
of  pictures  which  seem  the  heralds  of  an  approaching  outburst 
in  Russian  art  From  parasitic  works  of  borrowed  sentiment 
Russian  painting  rises  to  national,  barbaric  strength,  utterly 
wanting  in  the  discipline  that  comes  of  taste  ;  and  out  of  this  evil 
-originality  it  rises  again,  and,  in  individual  cases,  highly  refined 
and  well-balanced  performances  are  produced — works  in  which 
the  spirit  of  the  people  is  felt  none  the  less  to  vibrate.  That 
is  more  or  less  the  course  of  development  which  has  been  run 
through  in  the  nineteenth  century. 

What  was  produced  in  Russia  before  the  year  1700  is  only 
•of  value  for  those  making  researches  in  Byzantine  art  The 
•connection  between  the  Empire  of  the  Czar  and  the  West  dates 
from  Peter  the  Great  This  prince  wanted  European  pictures 
for  his  palaces  arranged  in  the  European  style  —  ceiling-pieces 
and  wall-paintings — and  for  the  execution  of  them  he  summoned 
from  foreign  parts  a  number  of  mediocre  painters,  who  adapted 
in  a  workmanlike  fashion  for  Russian  necessities  the  courtly 
allegories  invented  by  Lebrun.  Dannhauer,  Grooth,  the  elder 
Lampi,  and  afterwards  Toqu^,  Rotari,  and  others,  were  employed 
as  portrait-painters  at  the  Court  of  St.  Petersburg.  For  the 
genesis  of  a  "national  Russian  art"  their  appearance  was,  of 
■course,  ineffectual.  The  Asiatic  Colossus  merely  received  a 
superficial  Western  varnish.  Nevertheless  the  barbarians  acquired 
a  taste  for  pictures,  luxury,  elegance,  and  refinement  As  a 
result  commissions  were  multiplied  During  the  fabulous  splen- 
dour which  flooded  the  Court  and  was  in  favour  with  the 
aristocracy  under  Elizabeth,  whole  regiments  of  artists  were 
needed.  Demand  creates  supply.  And  so  amongst  the  crowd 
of  foreigners  there  emerged  native  artists,  some  of  whom  gave 
a  good  account  of  themselves  beside  their  French  comrades. 
In  particular  Levitzky^  the  first  remarkable  painter  of  the 
Empire  of  the  Russias,  may  be  reckoned  amongst  the  best  por- 
traitists of  the  eighteenth  century.  As  a  colourist  and  master 
of  characterization   he  does    not  stand   upon    the   same  footing 


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412  MODERN  PAINTING 

with  Reynolds,  Gainsborough,  and  Graflf,  but  his  likenesses- 
might  easily  be  mistaken  for  those  of  Madame  Vigte-Lebrun  or 
Rafael  Mengs.  His  contemporary,  Rokotov,  is  more  pedestrian 
and  less  vivid.  The  fine  portrait  of  Catherine  II.  by  his  pupil,. 
Borovikovsky^  which  represents  the  Empress  in  a  plain  morning- 
dress,  passing  through  the  park  of  Zarskoe  Selo,  accompanied 
by  her  favourite  dog,  makes  a  specially  striking  effect  in  the 
private  collection  in  Moscow  where  it  is  to  be  found.  His 
church-pictures  are  void  of  any  religious  feeling,  as  is  always 
the  case  in  those  of  the  eighteenth  century ;  but  they  are  flowing 
in  line,  effectively  decorative,  and  show  great  taste  in  colour. 

Through  mere  intercourse  with  the  foreign  masters  whom, 
they  saw  working  around  them,  they  had  all  three  formed  them- 
selves on  the  style  of  the  old  painters.  In  1757,  still  during 
the  reign  of  the  Empress  Elizabeth,  Russia  made  a  further 
advance  in  the  cultivation  of  art :  the  St.  Petersburg  Academy 
of  Arts  was  founded.  It  was  the  time  when  Rousseau's- 
t,fnile  had  created  the  wildest  confusion  of  ideas,  and  an 
exceedingly  strange  programme  was  accordingly  taken  up.  The 
ground-floor  of  the  Academy  was  occupied  by  an  infant-schooL. 
Boys  of  from  three  to  five  were  taken  there,  being  sometimes, 
brought  from  the  foundling  hospital.  After  they  had  gone: 
through  the  elementary  course  of  teaching  they  entered  the 
more  advanced  school,  being  then  from  eleven  to  thirteen  years 
of  age.  There  they  were  drilled  to  become  artists,  and  finally 
sent  abroad,  where  Mengs  and  David  stood  at  the  zenith  of 
their  glory.  In  St  Petersburg  young  Russians  were  compelled 
with  the  knout  to  make  Oriental  reverences  before  Poussin  and 
the  Bolognese.  When  they  came  to  Rome  they  transferred, 
their  servile  veneration  to  the  two  younger  princes  of  painting 
whom  the  world  delighted  to  honour.  And  so  the  Classicism, 
of  Mengs  and  David — icy  rigidity  and  tediousness  aiming  at 
style — found  its  way  into  Russia.  Like  a  new  Minerva,  armed, 
with  diplomas  and  arrayed  in  academical  uniform,  Russian  art 
descended  to  the  earth,  ready-made.  Artists  complimented  each 
other  on  being  a  Russian  Poussin,  a  Caracci,  a  Raphael,  or — 
highest    honour    of   all — a   Guido    Reni :   they   painted    Jupiter^ 


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RUSSIA 


413 


Achilles,  Ulysses, 
Hercules,  Socrates, 
and  Priam  ;  that  is 
to  say,  wax-dolls, 
-provided  with  friz- 
zled hair  and  yellow 
and  blue  togas, 
moving  majestic- 
ally in  bare  land- 
scapes, painted  in 
the  style  of  Valen- 
-ciennes. 

These  produc- 
tions of  Egorov^ 
Ugruniov,  and 
Jlndreas  Ivanov — 
honoured  artists  in 
their  lifetime — look 
down  from  the  walls 
•of  the  Hermitage, 
sad  and  silent  in 
these  days,  like 
reduced  heroes  of 
Cornelius  in  a  state 
of  emaciation. 
They  were  one  and  all  stiff  and  buckram  painters  making  a 
frightful  abuse  of  Greek  and  Roman  names,  and  staring  with 
their  dull  Mongol  eyes  into  the  blithe  world  of  antiquity. 
Count  Tkeodor  Tolstoi^  the  sculptor  and  designer  of  medallions, 
is  the  only  one  amongst  them  who  makes  an  oasis  in  the 
wilderness  of  French  Classicism  resembling  that  made  by 
Prudhon  in  France.  His  illustrations  to  Bogdanovitsch's  trans- 
lation of  the  tale  of  Psyche  take  a  place  immediately  below 
Prudhon's  drawings  in  grace,  charm,  and  aristocratic  elegance. 
He  neither  imitated  nor  troubled  himself  about  academical  for- 
tnulas,  but  felt  like  a  Greek ;  and  his  compositions  are  fresh 
-and   delicate   where    others    were   stiff   and    formal.      But,  as    a 


ij 

^ 

A 

r      r 

^■*0\ 

m 

A 

r         -    . 

\ 

^m 

^=;-. 

f 

*     ^^^1 

i 

m 

_i_ti 

I 

lUiktM  9C. 

BoROviKOvsKY :   The  Empress  Catherine  II. 


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MODERN  PAINTING 


genuine  painter  of 
the  epoch,  the  only 
one  of  them  who 
survives  is  Orest 
Kiprensky,  a  man  of 
naive  artistic  temper 
who  had  a  delight 
in  colour  and  was 
inspired  by  Rubens 
and  Van  Dyck,  and 
not  by  RaphaeU 
Poussin,and  Mengs. 
When  one  comes,  in 
the  Russian  section 
of  the  Hermitage,, 
across  Kiprensky's 
portrait  of  his  father 
— an  obese,  cherry- 
cheeked  old  gentle- 
man with  goggle 
eyes,  wrapped  in 
fur  and  standing; 
broad  -  legged  with 
a  stick  in  his  hand — one  fancies  that  one  has  unearthed  a 
Rubens  in  the  thick  of  these  tedious,  dismal  Classicists.  Almost 
all  his  works  have  unusual  breadth  of  technique,  rich  and 
liquid  tone,  bold  drawing,  and  astonishing  characterization. 
Very  fine  is  his  portrait  of  himself  in  the  Florentine  Uffizi 
galleries,  a  masterpiece  of  energetic  conception,  with  colouring 
which  recalls  the  old  masters  ;  and  to  this  must  be  added  his 
portrait  in  the  St.  Petersburg  Academy  of  Arts  of  Captain 
Davydov,  the  famous  poet  and  military  author,  who  as  Colonel 
of  a  Hussar  regiment  played  such  an  important  part  in  1814 
under  Blucher  in  the  war  against  the  French. 

The  Napoleonic  campaigns  brought  about  the  beginnings  of 
realism  in  Russia  as  in  Germany  and  France,  and  what  Gros 
was  in  Paris  and   Albrecht   Adam  in   Munich,  Orlovsky  was  ia 


KiPRENSKY :  Captain  Davydov. 


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RUSSIA 


41S 


Orlovsky  :   "  A  Cossack  Bivouac." 

the  Empire  of  the  Russias.  Born  in  Poland,  but  working 
throughout  his  life  in  Russia,  Orlovsky  had,  like  Adam,  not  a 
little  of  the  temperament  of  a  rough  infantry  soldier ;  as  a  boy 
he  had  seen  the  gaily  accoutred  troops  defiling  past  for  the  war, 
and  as  a  young  man  he  had  himself  taken  part  in  many  a  skirmish. 
When  he  came  home  he  painted  with  great  verve  the  things  he 
had  witnessed  on  the  field.  The  aesthetic  connoisseurs  of  St 
Petersburg  accepted  him  half  against  their  will,  and,  searching 
for  a  title  through  the  great  archives  of  art,  as  was  their  usage, 
they  called  him  the  Russian  Wouverman,  which  at  that  time 
was  not  intended  to  imply  high  praise. 

Having  had  a  Wouverman,  they  soon  had  a  Teniers  also. 
F'or  Russia  Venezianov  has  much  the  same  importance  as  Biirkel  for 
Germany.  Having  been  born  in  1779,  he  lived  at  a  time  when  genre 
was  considered  the  lowest  grade  of  art,  although  it  was  extremely 
easy  to  gain  a  reputation  equal  to  that  of  Poussin  and  Raphael ; 
indeed  it  was  only  necessary  to  draw  in  due  form  after  plaster 


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Venezianov:  "The  Threshing-floor." 

casts,  and  reproduce  old  pictures  as  accurately  as  possible.  Never- 
theless Venezianov,  without  troubling  himself  about  the  reigning 
precepts  in  aesthetics,  turned  to  the  representation  of  peasant 
life  with  the  utmost  delight  in  his  subject  and  the  most  ardent 
striving  after  truth ;  and  this,  remember,  was  in  an  epoch  when 
the  Russian  peasant  was  sold  like  a  beast,  and  the  poor,  rough, 
and  dirty  devil  had  no  picturesque  costume  of  his  own.  Such 
an  abrupt  entry  into  art  makes  Venezianov  a  very  remarkable 
person,  and  indeed  the  true  father  of  Russian  painting.  And, 
although  he  was  inspired  by  English  copper-engravings,  this  only 
makes  it  the  more  surprising  that,  instead  of  falling  into  anecdotic 
and  narrative  painting,  he  should  have  aimed  at  the  most  un- 
varnished reproduction  of  what  he  had  actually  seen.  His 
pictures,  it  is  true,  are  cold  and  heavy  in  colouring  ;  they  have 
not  the  vividness  of  the  old  Dutch  masters,  but  the  frigidness 
of  Debucourt  and  Boilly.      Nevertheless   they  give   pleasure  by 


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RUSSIA  417 

the  loving  manner  in  which  they  are  treated,  by  the  delicate 
observation  which  they  display  now  and  then,  and,  above  all, 
by  the  intense  earnestness  with  which  he  showed  a  generation 
of  eclectics  that  the  salvation  of  art  lay  in  truth  and  nature 
alone.  At  the  same  time  Sylvester  Stschedrin,  a  powerful  painter 
who  revealed  a  good  deal  of  inward  temperament,  emancipated 
himself  from  the  conventional  landscape  of  Poussin.  Realism 
was  furtively  gaining  ground,  a  national  Russian  school  was 
going  through  the  process  of  fermentation,  and  the  awkward, 
lazy  camel  began  to  bestir  itself  at  last. 

But  the  phase  of  historical  painting  had  also  to  be  overcome. 
Just  as  in  Germany  the  healthy  art  of  Peter  Hess  and  Biirkel 
was  long  overshadowed  by  the  glittering  histrionic  vehemence 
of  Piloty,  so,  after  1834,  the  era  of  great  historical  canvases 
came  into  existence  in  Russia. 

For  many  years  past  rumours  had  come  from  Rome  to  the 
-effect  that  a  young  man  of  genius,  Karl  Brulov,  many  of  whose 
glorious  "revelations  of  colour"  had  been  already  seen,  had 
completed  a  picture  over  which  all  Italy  was  in  a  fever  of  excite- 
ment And  in  this  at  least  there  was  no  exaggeration.  In 
the  whole  history  of  art  there  is  scarcely  an  example  of  such 
a  dazzling  success  as  that  achieved  by  Briilov's  picture  "The 
Fall  of  Pompeii."  Substantial  volumes  might  be  compiled  from 
the  numberless  eulogies  which  appeared  in  Italian  journals.  To 
compare  the  young  Russian  with  Michael  Angelo  and  Raphael 
was  a  thing  which  seemed  faint  praise  to  the  Roman  critics. 
People  took  their  hats  off  to  him,  as  they  did  to  Gu^rin  in  Paris  ; 
lie  was  allowed  to  cross  the  boundaries  of  states  without  a 
passport,  for  his  fame  had  penetrated  even  to  the  custom-house 
officials.  When  he  appeared  in  the  theatre  the  public  rose  from 
their  seats  to  greet  the  master;  and  a  dense  crowd  gathered 
round  the  door  of  his  house  or  followed  him  wherever  he  went,  to 
rejoice  in  the  contemplation  of  such  a  man  of  genius.  Sir  Walter 
Scott,  who  was  then  the  idol  of  the  Russians,  had  sat  for  an 
hour  in  the  painter's  studio  examining  the  work  with  the  greatest 
attention  without  uttering  a  word,  until  he  at  last  declared  that 
Briilov  had  not  painted  a  mere  picture,  but  an  epic.     And  even 


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Karl  BrOlov. 


Cammuccini,  the  ironical  David 
of  the  Itah'ans,  called  Briilov  a 
colossus. 

At    length,    having    won    a 
European  fame  in  this  fashion, 
the   picture   arrived   in    Russia. 
The  public  was  excited  to  the 
highest     pitch     both     by     the 
notices   in   papers   and  the  ac- 
counts of  travellers.     Of  course 
the  enthusiasm  of  the  Italians, 
who   were    still    reckoned    the 
only  artistic  nation  by  the  grace 
of  God,  was  enough  to  silence 
criticism.      People  streamed  in 
masses   to  the  Academy   where   the  masterpiece   was   exhibited, 
with  the  firm   determination  of  admiring  it,  and  they  were  not 
in  the  least  disappointed. 

A  colossal  canvas  with  falling  houses  and  swarms  of  people 
painted  over  life-size,  a  motley  chaos  of  luminous  colours,  where 
"  the  fire  of  Vesuvius  and  the  flash  of  the  lightning  seemed  to 
have  been  stolen  from  heaven,"  could  not  fail  to  make  a  thrill- 
ing impression  upon  people  who  had  hitherto  been  able  to  enjoy 
nothing  but  dead  and  dreary  compositions.  Briilov  was  said 
to  have  eclipsed  Raphael  and  Michael  Angelo,  and  he  alone 
had  the  art  of  combining  awful  tragedy  with  the  noblest  beauty. 
And  language  such  as  this  was  not  merely  used  by  petty 
journalists.  Following  the  example  given  by  Scott,  the  greatest 
geniuses  of  Russia  went  one  beyond  the  other  in  the  cult  of 
Briilov  :  Gogol  wrote  an  article  filled  with  unmeasured  praise ; 
Puschkin  flung  himself  upon  his  knees  before  the  painter 
imploring  him  for  a  sketch;  Shukovsky  spent  whole  days  in 
Briilov's  studio,  and  spoke  of  his  religious  pictures  as  "  divinely 
inspired  visions." 

At  the  present  time  this  enthusiasm  is  as  hard  to  understand 
as  that  which  was  accorded  about  the  same  epoch  to  the  works 
of  Delaroche,   Wappers,   and  Gallait.      Of  course  there   can   be 


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RUSSIA  421 

no  doubt  that  Briilov's  "  Fall  of  Pompeii "  has  an  historical 
importance  in  Russian  art  By  breaking  the  monotony  of 
Classicism  with  a  loud  fanfare,  it  awakened  a  sense  for  colour, 
and  directed  the  drowsy  attention  of  the  Russian  public  to 
native  painting.  The  interest  in  art  grew  stronger  ;  with  every 
year  a  larger  number  of  people  began  to  visit  exhibitions,  and 
the  career  of  Russian  painters  was  followed  with  eagerness. 

But  all  this  gives  no  measure  for  an  artistic  judgment.  As 
a  matter  of  fact,  Briilov's  picture  was  a  tame  compromise  between 
Classicism  and  Romanticism.  The  public  seemed  to  be  receiving 
something  novel  without  being  called  upon  to  alter  its  taste,  and 
it  was  just  this  which  rendered  the  painter,  like  his  contem- 
porary Delaroche,  the  favourite  of  the  old  and  the  idol  of  the 
young.  Instead  of  ordinary  people  and  horrible,  commonplace 
reality,  such  as  Venezianov  had  painted,  there  was  a  pretty 
stage-scene  with  ideal  figures  elegantly  posing.  The  type  in 
favour  with  the  Classicists  was,  certainly,  a  little  altered ; 
for  in  the  place  of  the  Antinous  and  Laocoon  heads  there  was 
a  mixture  of  those  beloved  of  Domenichino  and  that  of  the 
Niobe ;  but  the  fair  and  lofty  ideal  of  yellowish-white  and 
brownish-red  wax-figures  in  artificial  and  theatrical  poses  was 
still  held  in  honour.  That  worse  than  mediocre  opera  of  Paccini, 
V Ultimo  Giomo  di  Pompejiy  had  given  Briilov  the  first  idea 
for  his  picture.  And  all  his  later  career  was  a  compromise* 
When  he  returned  from  Italy  the  opinion  was  that  his  best  was 
still  to  come:  it  was  expected  that  he  would  execute  something 
grandiose  and  bold  ;  the  public  was  convinced  that  he  was  a  genius 
of  worldwide  reach,  whose  every  stroke  would  be  a  revelation.  It 
made  a  mistake,  for,  defective  as  it  was,  "  The  Fall  of  Pompeii " 
remains  the  painter's  masterpiece.  The  things  which  he  pro- 
duced afterwards  were  either  banal  Italian  scenes,  which  scarcely 
suffer  comparison  with  those  of  Riedel,  or  church  pictures,  such 
as  "  The  Crucifixion  "  or  "  The  Ascension  of  the  Virgin,"  which 
might  be  the  work  of  a  third-rate  Bolognese.  Everything  about 
them  is  correct,  intelligent,  well-intentioned,  cleverly  devised,, 
but  tiresome  and  inanimate  all  the  same.  Shortly  after  his 
arrival  in  St.  Petersburg  he  began   that  colossal   picture   "  The 


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Defence  of  Pskovs,"  in  which  he  meant  to  surpass  tumaelf.  He 
worked  upon  it  more  than  ten  years,  yet  the  result  was  a  badly 
painted  patriotic  stage-scene  in  the  braggadocio  style  of  Horace 
Vemet.  However  a  few  energetic  portraits  and  unassuming 
water-colours  have  survived  his  tawdry  historical  pictures. 

But  none  the  less  lasting  and  fateful  was  the  influence  which 
he  exerted  over  the  Russian  art  of  his  time.  The  incense  offered 
to  this  prince  of  painters  mounted  to  the  heads  of  other  artists. 
To  be  Briilov,  to  approach  Briilov — since  to  outstrip  him  seemed 
impossible — was  the  aim  of  them  all.  Who  cared  any  more 
about  Orlovsky  or  Venezianov !  What  dwarfs  were  such 
disciples  of  the  old  Dutch  masters  beside  the  colossus  who  had 
vaulted  to  the  highest  peak  of  Parnassus  with  a  single  bound. 
From  this  time  there  was  in  all  directions  a  constant  search 
after  strained  effects  of  light  and  impossible  poses.  The  ex- 
hibitions were  flooded  with  huge  compositions.  The  most  varied 
periods  were  chosen  from  antiquity,  the  Middle  Ages,  and 
the  Bible,  but  less  frequently  from  Russian  history,  and  they 
were  all  illustrated  with  the  same  superficiality,  the  same  glare 
of  colour,  and  the  same  false  idealism.  Encouraged  through 
purchases  made  by  the  Academy  and  the  Emperor,  who  wanted 
a  "  grand  art,"  like  Ludwig  I.  and  Friedrich  Wilhelm  IV.,  and 
welcomed  by  the  enthusiastic  applause  of  the  great  public, 
historical  painters  shot  up  in  denser  ranks.  BassiUy  Scliamschin^ 
KapkaVy  and  later  Flavitzky  and  MoUer^  were  idols  looked  up  to 
upon  all  sides,  though  they  were  absolute  nonentities,  who,  if 
they  were  all  added  together,  would  not  yield  the  material  neces- 
sary for  one  solitary  artist  of  real  personality.  One  of  the  most 
talented,  Hendrik  Siemiradzky^  threw  himself  into  panoramic 
representations  of  Greek  and  Roman  antiquity,  or  spoilt  his 
tasteful  and  sunny  landscapes  by  the  lifeless  puppets  with  which 
he  filled  them  in.  Bruni^  who  is  generally  mentioned  in  the 
same  breath  with  Briilov,  became  the  Russian  Hippol5^e  Flandrin. 
He  provided  church  pictures,  etc.,  in  particular  the  ceiling-pieces 
of  St.  Isaac's  Cathedral  in  St.  Petersburg,  in  which  he  added  to 
the  puritanic  hue  of  Overbeck  and  the  frigid  Michael-Angelesque 
ideal  of  Cornelius  a  certain  warm,  piquant  Neo-French  elegance. 


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RUSSIA  423 

Nefff  who  was  considered  the  greatest  colourist  after  Briilov, 
painted  with  an  enervating  mawkishness  bashful  nymphs  and 
holy  saints,  who  even  now  have  lost  nothing  of  their  candied 
freshness  of  colour.  Every  one  of  these  men  awakens  a  remini- 
scence, so  that  his  pedigree  can  be  guessed  at  once,  and  his 
name  entered  under  the  prbper  heading.  They  all  bear  the 
brand  of  the  ruling  tendency  in  Italy,  France,  Germany.  And 
painting  could  only  recover  when  Russia  came  to  a  consciousness 
that  Briilov  was  not  a  colossus,  and  that  "  The  Fall  of  Pompeii  ** 
was  a  strained  operatic  climax,  provided  with  anaemic  waxworks, 
and  not  a  poem. 

The  first  breach  in  the  citadel  of  "grand  art*'  was  made 
by  a  few  painters  who  move  on  lines  more  or  less  parallel  with 
those  of  the  English  Preraphaelites.  That  notable  man 
Akxander  Ivanov^  who  has  become  known  in  Germany  through 
a  publication  of  the  Berlin  Archaeological  Institute,  had  con- 
ceived the  idea  of  representing  "  The  Appearance  of  the  Messiah 
amongst  the  People"  as  early  as  1833.  In  his  earlier  days 
Ivanov  was  a  conscientious,  industrious  young  man,  who  sub- 
missively followed  academical  precepts,  and  hardly  dreamed  of 
anything  beyond  an  historical  picture  in  the  style  of  Bruni  and 
Briilov.  But  he  possessed  too  great  a  soul  to  remain  on  this 
smooth  and  easy  path,  he  had  too  serious  an  idea  of  the 
mission  of  an  artist ;  and  so  stereotyped  idealism,  balance  of 
composition,  and  all  those  easily  acquired  matters,  which  led 
so  many  painters  to  fame  in  the  age  of  Classicism,  were  not 
enough  to  satisfy  him.  He  wanted  to  create  a  work  which 
should  place  the  great  moment  of  history  truthfully  before  the 
eyes  of  men ;  he  wanted  to  embody  the  scene  in  real  accordance 
with  the  spirit  of  the  gospel.  There  was  nothing  which  seemed 
too  hard  for  him  in  the  way  of  his  attainment  With  the  zeal 
of  a  young  man,  Ivanov,  who  was  then  thirty,  settled  to  his 
work  :  he  read  through  everything  he  could  lay  his  hands 
upon,  sat  whole  days  in  different  libraries,  starved  himself  to 
buy  books,  and  painted  and  drew  without  intermission.  Nothing 
was  to  recall  to  any  one's  mind  composition  and  plaster-casts, 
the    stage    or    the    academy.       Landscape,    human    types,    and 


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^^ 

•  -^*«i< 

"% 

^        M 

fH 

■^r.| , 

J  '^fi 

1/       ^<Snv 

ikM 

'^W■^> 

-W 

g^ 

IvANOv :   "  Thb  Appearance  of  the  Messiah  amongst  the  People." 

underlying  idea  were  to  be  all  true  to  reality,  faithful  to  the 
spirit  of  history.  His  work  took  him  more  than  twenty-five 
years.  With  boundless  patience  and  a  faith  entirely  worthy  of 
primitive  Christianity,  he  laboured  by  means  of  fervid  studies 
of  nature  to  express  everything  to  the  last  stroke,  just  as  he 
had  it  in  his  mind.  His  effort  to  be  authentic  went  so  far  that 
he  had  the  intention  of  going  to  Palestine  to  get  his  ideas  of 
the  scenery  upon  the  very  spot,  and  to  study  genuine  Hebrew: 
types.  As  he  had  not  the  means  for  carrying  out  this  plan, 
he  repaired,  without  giving  the  malaria  a  thought,  to  the  most 
deserted  regions  of  the  Campagna,  to  become  familiar  with  the 
aspect  of  the  wilderness ;  and  every  Saturday  he  went  to  the 
synagogue  in  Rome  to  hunt  for  the  most  pronounced  Jewish^ 
countenances. 

From  the  standpoint  of  the  present  day  only  a  very  small 
amount  of  truth  has  been  reached,  in  spite  of  all  his  endeavours. 
Much  of  his  work  is  academical,  and,  at  the  first  glance,  the 
picture  hardly  seems  to  deviate  from  other  compositions  con- 
structed  according   to   the    Classical  ideal   and   illuminated   after 


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RUSSIA 


42s 


IvANov:  Study  for  the  Heads  of  Two  Slaves  in  the  "Appearance  of 

THE  Messiah." 

the  manner  of  Cornelius.  But  as  soon  as  one  looks  into  the 
detail  one  understands  the  artist's  intention.  There  is  no 
sentiment  superficially  borrowed  from  the  old  masters.*  Every- 
thing, even  the  awkward  composition,  bears  the  impress  of 
truthfulness.  From  the  sublime  and  inspired  St.  John  to  the 
stupid,  hideous  slaves  the  characterization  of  the  different  heads 
is  wonderful,  full  of  serious  majesty,  conceived  in  a  large  and 
convincing  style,  and  free  from  every  trace  of  academical 
beauty.  There  is  something  which  is  almost  genius  in  the  way 
in  which  Christ  has  been  imagined  :  He  is  quiet  and  composed,, 
by  no  means  a  beautiful  Jupiter,  but  a  hard-featured  man,  and 
at  the  same  time  a  thrilling,  superhuman  figure,  advancing 
towards  the  people  with  the  lofty  bearing  of  a  spiritual  presence,, 
though  His  gait  is  none  the  less  natural.  The  colouring  is 
obviously  the  weakest  part  of  the  picture,  and  has  a  languid^ 
dismal  appearance  beside  the  dazzling  theatrical  effects  of  Briilov. 
But  the  numerous  sketches — they  are  over  two  hundred — which 

VOL.  III.  28 


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MODERN  PAINTING 


Ivanov  has  left  in  the  way 
of  landscapes  or  studies  of 
figures  and  drapery  in  oil 
and  water-colours,  throw 
peculiar  light  even  upon 
his  efforts  at  colour.  In 
these  studies  he  was  one 
of  the  first  to  practise  in 
some  degree  the  principle 
o{  plein  air^  and  in  many 
of  his  open-air  sketches 
he  shows  an  understand- 
ing of  light  such  as  else- 
where only  Madox  Brown 
possessed  in  those  years. 

But   in  the   large   picture 
Sarjanko:   Mrs.  Sokurova.  ^^    ^^jj^j    ^^     ^^^^j^     ^^^^ 

mony.  The  total  effect  is  weak,  there  is  a  want  of  unity, 
and  the  orchestration  of  the  tones  is  interrupted  by  discords. 
In  spite  of  this,  however,  there  is  assured  to  him  in  the  history 
of  painting  a  place  of  honour  amongst  the  earliest  tough  and 
knotty  realists,  a  place  of  honour  amongst  the  founders  of  the 
modern  intuition  of  colour. 

In  the  field  of  portrait- painting  Sarjanko  was  inspired  with 
similar  principles.  Every  wrinkle,  ever>''  little  hair,  the  texture 
of  the  skin,  and  almost  every  pore  are  laboriously  and  slavishly 
reproduced  in  his  likenesses  with  the  pains  of  a  Denner.  As  a 
result  of  this  his  works  have  often  the  spiritless  effect  of  a 
coloured  photograph.  Nevertheless  this  austere  and  merciless 
pedantry  essentially  contributed  to  the  gradual  purification  of 
taste.  As  a  result  of  such  work  artists  at  last  began  to  have 
«yes  for  true  and  simple  nature,  and,  after  the  burden  of 
spurious  idealism  had  been  got  rid  of,  the  national  tendency, 
which  was  begun  unobtrusively  after  the  Napoleonic  war,  was 
gradually  able  to  grow  to  its  full  strength. 

Literature  paved  the  way  for  it.  In  1823  Gribojedov  repre- 
sented Russian  society  in  his  comedy  Woe  to  the  Man  who  is  too 


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-Clever^  in  highly  coloured  scenes  and  pithy,  energetic  verse.  In 
1832  Puschkin  completed  his  Eugen  Onegin,  In  the  same  year 
the  great  Gogol  came  before  the  public  with  his  Evenings  at  the 
Farm  near  Dikanka^  in  which  he  gave  Russian  poetry  the  ten- 
dency towards  modern  realism  in  the  representation  of  human 
life.  It  was  in  this  work  that  he  portrayed  with  a  harmless 
sense  of  fun  the  officials,  landlords,  and  popes  of  Little  Russia, 
and  their  life  which  runs  by  so  cheerfully  in  its  narrow  rounds. 
In  1836  his  Examiner  of  Accounts  was  put  upon  the  stage,  a 
comedy  which  was  likewise  an  objurgatory  sermon.  At  the 
same  time  his  Russian  Tales  appeared,  as  well  as  his  novel  Dead 
Souls  \  in  these  works  he  was  thoroughly  serious  and  bitter, 
giving  in  all  its  veracity,  and  with  a  terrible  force,  the  very 
essence  of  Russian  life  in  a  genuinely  Russian  form  of  literature. 
Painting  followed  suit.  Previously  it  was  Crusaders,  Italians, 
Turkish  ladies,  and  views  of  Constantinople  and  Naples  which 
had  ruled  in  exhibitions  by  the  side  of  the  large  historical  pictures, 
but  from  the  end  of  the  thirties  artists  began  to  seek  their  mate- 
rials upon  Russian  soil.  It  must  be  admitted  that  they  did  this, 
at  first,  only  for  the  purposes  of  genre  painting,  which  flooded 
Europe  at  the  time  with  its  plenitude  of  sentimental  anecdotes. 
It  was  necessary  to  give  pictures  a  jovial  or  didactic  turn  to 
attract  the  attention  of  the  public  from  the  captivating  episodes 
in  history,  and  the  richly  coloured  and  motley  pictures  of  Italian 
women,  in  which  people  took  delight  Gogol's  intense  feeling 
for  beauty,  and  healthy,  animated  naturalism  were  weakened 
into  swooning  sentimentality  which  could  be  used  in  little  bourgeois 
stories. 

A  beginning  was,  at  any  rate,  made  by  Sternberg,  who  died 
in  Rome  at  the  age  of  seven-and-twenty.  He  portrayed  peasant 
life  in  "  Little  Russia  "  with  a  good  deal  of  rose-coloured  sentiment 
but  with  a  sympathetic  gift  of  observation  and  great  technical 
dexterity.  Stschedrovsky  represented  types  of  street-life  in  St. 
Petersburg  in  a  series  of  energetic  lithographs.  Tschemyschev, 
MorosoVy  Ivan  Sokolov,  Trutovsky^  the  pretty  though  superficial 
illustrator  Timm,  Popov,  Shuravlev,  and  others  also  appeared  with 
fresh  and  unassuming  pictures  of  Russian  popular  life,     x^nd  the 


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428  MODERN  PAINTING 

victory  of  genre  painting  was  decisive  when  Paul  Andreevitsch 
Fedotov  appeared  in  the  exhibition  of  1849  with  three  pictures, 
"The  Newly  Decorated  Knight,"  "The  Major's  Match,"  and 
"The  Morning  after  the  Wedding."  These  works  have  the 
importance  for  Russia  which  the  works  of  Hogarth  have  for 
England. 

Fedotov,  the  son  of  poor  parents,  was  born  in  Moscow  in 
181 5,  and  had  been  an  officer  in  the  army  before  he  turned  to 
painting.  Even  as  a  cadet  he  drew  portraits  of  his  comrades 
and  parade  and  street-scenes,  and  when  he  retired  he  entered 
the  class  for  battle-painting  in  the  St.  Petersburg  Academy,  and 
indeed  it  was  the  only  section  of  the  institution  where  pupils 
came  into  a  certain  contact  with  life.  His  works  of  this  period, 
such  as  the  large  water-colour  picture  "The  Admission  of  the 
Grand  Duke  Michael  into  the  Finnish  Regiment  of  Lifeguards 
in  1837,"  have  a  plain  matter-of-fact  style  which  is  more  or  less 
paralleled  in  the  paintings  of  Franz  Kriiger.  He  has  drawn  the 
rigid,  self-satisfied  soldiery,  in  their  tight  uniforms  and  absurd 
shakos,  very  vividly,  and  without  satirical  intention.  Gogol's 
success  induced  him  to  make  a  transition  from  the  painting  of 
uniform  to  the  representation  of  citizen-life,  and  his  pictures  in 
exhibitions  were  justly  held  to  be  a  piquant  pendant  to  the 
creations  of  Gogol. 

In  "The  Newly  Decorated  Knight"  he  painted  the  room  of 
a  subordinate  official  who  has  received  his  first  decoration,  and 
given  his  colleagues  a  banquet,  to  celebrate  the  occasion,  on  the 
previous  evening.  This  worthy  cannot  resist  the  temptation  of 
pinning  his  new  token  of  glory  to  his  dressing-gown  as  soon  as- 
it  is  morning,  though  his  maid-of-all-work  holds  up  in  triumph 
his  worn-out  broken  boots  which  she  is  carrying  off  to  black.  The 
floor  is  strewn  with  broken  plates,  bottles,  glasses,  and  remnants- 
of  the  feast,  and  a  tipsy  guest,  who  has  just  come  to  his  senses 
and  is  rubbing  his  tired  eyes,  is  lying  under  the  table.  In  St^ 
Petersburg  the  picture  created  an  immense  sensation ;  such 
audacity  in  making  mock  at  imperial  distinctions  was  an  unheard- 
of  thing.  And  when  the  work  was  to  have  been  lithographed 
the    censorship    interfered.     The    decoration    had    to    disappear^ 


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and  the  harmless 
title  "  Reproaches 
in  Consequence  of 
a  Festive  Meeting" 
was  substituted  for 
the  original. 

Fedotov's  second 
picture,  "  The  Ma- 
jor's Match,"  to  which 
he  appended  an 
explanation  in  a 
hundred  and  fifty 
lines  of  humorous 
verse,  depicted  two 
parties  who  want 
to  overreach  each 
other :  a  major  with 
-debts,  who  wishes  to 
marry  a  fat  mer- 
chant's daughter  for 
the     sake     of     her 

marriage  portion,  and  a  rich  tradesman  who  is  anxious  to  be 
the  father-in-law  of  a  noble.  In  honour  of  the  day  the  bride  has 
thrown  on  an  exceedingly  dicollet^e  white  silk  dress,  her  father 
has  arrayed  himself  in  his  best  coat,  and  her  mother,  too,  is 
majestically  dignified.  They  are  seated  like  this  in  the  drawing- 
room,  and  are  awaiting  with  beating  hearts  the  arrival  of  the 
lofty  guest.  Suddenly  the  door  is  opened,  and  the  lady  who  has 
been  making  the  match  rushes  in,  exclaiming,  "  The  Major  is 
here ! "  And  thereupon  there  ensues  one  of  those  comical  scenes 
ol  consternation  in  which  Paul  de  Kock  delighted.  The  daughter, 
who  has  sprung  up  blushing,  wishes  to  make  her  escape,  but  is 
held  back  by  her  mother  catching  hold  of  her  dress.  The 
portly  old  father  cannot  succeed  in  properly  arranging  his  fine 
raiment,  which  he  is  unaccustomed  to  wear ;  servants  are  bustling 
about  bringing  refreshments,  and  an  old  maid  who  has  ventured 
to  intrude  is   all  ^yts   and   ears.      Meanwhile    through  the  open 


Fedotov:   "The  Newly  Decorated  Knight." 


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430  MODERN  PAINTING 

door  the  elderly  and  very  threadbare  figure  of  the  fiance  may 
be  seen  in  the  ante-chamber,  casting  a  critical  look  in  the  glass 
and  giving  his  moustache  a  martial  curl. 

In  the  third  picture  it  is  the  young  man  who  has  been 
hoaxed.  He  believes  himself  to  have  married  a  rich  and 
guileless  maiden  who  would  give  him  a  complete  establishment. 
But  on  the  morning  after  the  wedding  an  officer  of  justice 
appears  and  makes  a  seizure  of  everything ;  the  young  wife 
kneels  imploring  pardon,  and  through  the  open  door  the  step- 
mother may  be  seen  in  the  bedroom  wringing  the  neck  of  a 
dove,  whose  blood  drips  on  the  wedding  bed. 

"The  Mouse-trap,'  "The  Pet  Dog  is  111,"  "The  Pet  Dog  is 
Dead,"  "The  Milliner's  Shop,"  "The  Cholera,"  "The  Return  of 
the  Schoolgirl  to  her  Home,"  arranged  other  episodes  i  la 
Hogarth  in  complicated  scenes  of  comedy ;  but,  although  forcible 
contributions  to  the  history  of  Russian  manners,  they  are 
throughout  more  suitable  for  literature  than  for  art  The 
colour  is  crude,  and  the  characterization  verges  upon  caricature. 
It  is  only  the  element  of  still-life  that  he  often  handles  with 
charm,  though  here  he  almost  approaches  the  "  little  masters "" 
of  Holland.  In  his  later  years  he  attempted  to  go  further  irt 
this  direction,  but  madness,  followed  soon  afterwards  by  death, 
brought  his  plans  to  an  end. 

And  those  who  came  after  him  made  no  progjress  in  this 
respect  either.  They  stand  to  their  predecessors  as  Carl  Hiibner 
or  Wiertz  to  Madou  and  Meyerheim.  The  elder  men  regarded 
painting  as  a  toy  or  an  amusing  comic  paper,  and  could  seldom 
resist  giving  their  pictures  a  jovial  or  a  smiling  trait  All  their 
scenes  have  a  roseate  tinge,  and  reveal  nothing  of  real  life — 
nothing  of  all  the  tragic  and  saddening  miseries  of  Russia  lan- 
guishing beneath  the  yoke  of  serfdom.  These  humourists  were 
followed  by  doctrinaire  preachers.  The  "  picture  with  a  social 
purpose,"  which  supplanted  the  optimistic  painting  of  anecdote 
in  the  rest  of  Europe,  found  particularly  fertile  soil  in  the 
Empire  of  the  Czar.  The  death  of  Nicholas  I.  and  the  accession 
of  Alexander  II.,  who  had  been  long  beloved  and  looked 
forward    to  on    account    of    his    Liberal    opinions — "  the    angel 


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431 


Perov;   "A  Funeral  in  the  Country." 

in  human  shape "  he  was  called  as  Czarevitch — had  freed 
Russia  from  a  heavy  and  oppressive  burden  ;  men  began  to 
breathe  freely,  and  a  fresh  breeze  went  through  the  land.  The 
Government  itself,  with  its  great  programme  of  reform,  which 
began  so  energetically  by  the  abolition  of  serfdom,  summoned 
all  the  Liberal  thinkers  to  its  assistance  ;  and,  encouraged  by 
these  efforts  at  emancipation,  ideas  and  views  which  had  been 
hitherto  concealed  and  suppressed  came  to  light  in  all  regions 
of  intellectual  life,  with  an  official  passport  to  justify  their 
existence.  Literature,  which  had  been  muzzled  up  to  this  time, 
muttered  and  thundered  in  a  fearful  manner :  **  Life  is  no  jest 
and  no  light  sport,  but  heavy  toil.  Abnegation,  continual  abne- 
gation, is  its  inward  meaning,  and  the  answer  to  its  riddle.*' 
Painting  also,  it  was  held,  must  become  an  educational  influence, 
and  take  part  in  the  great  battle  ;  it  must  join  by  taking  up 
its  parable  and  teaching.  It  was  not  created  to  soothe  the 
senses,  but  to  serve  ends  that  were  higher,  more  progressive,  and 


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MODERN  PAINTING 


more  enno- 
bling to  the 
world.  The 
droll  and  far- 
cical element 
'of  "^the  earlier 
pictures  was 
abruptly  cast 
aside  for  more 
melancholy 
ideas.  An  ar- 
gumentative, 
didactic  paint- 
ing, in  alliance 
with  the  social 
programme, 
came  then  in- 
to existence, 
and  as  a  result 
of  these  views, 
technique,  the 
purely  picto- 
rial element,  had  to  suflFer.  It  was  only  necessary  to  have 
humane  ideas,  to  dash  off  in  colours  mordant  innuendoes  and 
loud  complaints,  and  to  bring  fresh  evidence  of  the  sad  condition 
of  the  peasantry,  the  evils  of  the  administration,  the  inebriety  of 
the  people,  and  the  corruption  of  the  nobles,  to  be  praised,  not 
merely  as  a  good  Liberal,  but  as  a  great  painter  too. 

Perov  is  the  most  interesting  of  these  painters  with  a  com- 
plaint against  society.  It  is  not,  indeed,  that  he  had  more 
talent  or  loftier  ideas  than  the  others,  but  he  was  the  first  to 
open  fire,  and  he  underlined  his  bold  notions  as  heavily  as 
possible.  In  his  earliest  pictures,  with  which  he  came  forward 
in  1858— "The  Arrival  of  the  Official  of  Police"  and  "The 
Newly  Nominated  Registrar  of  the  Board  " — he  chiefly  aimed  at 
the  officials,  the  heartless  and  merciless  oppressors  of  the 
peasantry.     Later  he   attacked    by   preference   the   rural    clergy. 


Perov:   "The  Village  Sermon." 


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whom  he  depicted  incisively  in  all  their  brutal  coarseness.  "An 
Ecclesiastical  Procession  in  the  Country,"  in  particular,  is  one 
of  the  typical  pictures  of  this  second  period.  The  procession 
issues  from  the  house  of  a  rich  peasant,  where  its  members 
have  been  drinking  freely,  and  pours  into  the  street.  Old 
rustics  and  young  lads  and  girls  are  reeling  in  the  mud  with 
images  and  relics,  while  the  priest  staggers  along  behind, 
followed  by  the  deacon.  The  host  is  leaning  drunk  against  the 
door-post,  and  the  rest  are  lying  unconscious  in  the  dirt.  In 
1865  he  produced  one  of  his  best  pictures—-"  A  Funeral  in  the 
Country."  A  poor  widow  is  seated  in  a  miserable  peasant 
sledge,  with  her  head  sunk  forwards  and  her  back  against  the 
coffin  of  her  husband ;  two  children — a  little  boy  sleeping, 
wrapped  in  his  father's  great  sheepskin,  and  his  pining  and 
crying  sister — crouch  behind  her,  but  otherwise  a  sheep-dog  is 
the  only  follower  in  the  funeral  train.  In  "The  Village 
Sermon"  the  fat  squire  has  fallen  asleep,  while  his  wife  im- 
proves the  occasion  by  whispering  with  her  lover.  Behind  them 
stands  the  flunkey  keeping  the  villagers  at  a  respectful  distance  by 
blows  and  abuse.  And  in  "The  Troika"  three  ragged  and  half- 
famished  apprentice  boys  are  drawing  a  sledge,  laden  with  a  great 
cask  of  water ;  the  ground  is  frozen  hard,  and  the  poor  fellows 
are  almost  fainting  with  exertion.  "  A  Woman  who  has  drowned 
herself"  is  the  epilogue  to  a  tragedy,  and  "The  Arrival  of  the 
Governess"  the  prologue  to  a  drama — a  poor,  pretty  girl  coming 
to  a  fresh  family  and  encountering  the  sensual  glance  of  the 
brutal  master  of  the  house. 

Over  most  of  his  contemporaries  Perov  has  the  advantage  of 
standing  upon  entirely  national  ground,  and  displaying  his  own 
qualities  instead  of  making  a  show  with  those  of  others.  He  is 
a  man  who  has  had  real  emotions  in  life,  and  has,  therefore, 
something  serious  to  express.  In  his  hand  the  pencil  changes 
into  a  probe,  with  which  he  has  penetrated  deeply  into  the 
diseased  spots  in  his  own  natioa  He  despairs  and  hopes,  fights 
and  grows  faint,  has  always  a  keen  eye  for  the  good  of  the 
people,  accuses  the  rich,  and  deduces  evils  from  the  open  con- 
dition of  society,  but  while  he  points  to  its  bleeding  wounds  he 


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434  MODERN  PAINTING 

offers  it  healing  balm.  And  so  his  pictures  betray  a  complex 
frame  of  mind,  out  of  which  tears  or  laughter  may  arise  at  any 
moment.  He  stands  to  his  own  people  as  a  mother  to  a  dearly 
beloved  child.  And  as  she  chastens  it  with  a  rod  and  compels 
it  to  take  the  better  part  by  severe  admonition,  and  then 
presses  it  to  her  heart  and  covers  it  with  kisses,  Perov  protects 
and  idolizes  the  people,  and  in  the  next  moment  smites  hard 
'  with  the  might  of  his  satire.  Like  a  severe  judge,  he  unveils 
the  misconduct  of  the  great  and  the  abuses  practised  by 
officials,  tears  the  mask  from  the  upper  ten  thousand,  and 
reveals  their  withered  faces.  He  turns  to  the  poor  like  a  kind 
father,  like  a  man  following  the  rule  of  the  gospel,  and  praises 
their  righteousness.  He  is  at  once  the  accuser  of  society  and 
its  physician,  and  his  course  of  healing  is  to  return  to  nature, 
righteousness,  truth,  and  compassion. 

One  is  grateful  to  him  for  his  philanthropic  intentions.  But 
there  is  no  enjoyment  in  looking  at  his  pictures,  for  the  school- 
master is  the  assassin  of  the  artist.  What  is  properly  pictorial 
comes  off  second-best  in  them,  since  he  does  not  command  the 
handicraft  of  art  In  fact  he  might  be  most  readily  compared 
with  Wiertz,  and,  like  him,  he  exercised  an  evil  influence  upon 
a  whole  group  of  painters.  It  is  not  merely  his  contemporaries 
Pukirev,  Korsuchin,  Prjaniscfmikov,  who  have  deprived  many  of 
their  prettily  painted  pictures  of  artistic  charm  by  lachrymose 
complaints  against  society  or  satirical  didacticism,  for  Savitsky 
and  Lemoch  did  the  same  afterwards. 

The  most  familiarly  known  of  the  men  with  this  bent  is 
Vassily  Verestchagin,  an   apostle  of  peace  tinged  with   Nihilism. 

The  exhibition  of  his  pictures  which  took  place  in  the 
February  of  1882  at  Kroll's,  in  Berlin,  will  be  remembered. 
They  were  not  to  be  seen  by  day,  but  only  under  electric 
light.  Concealed  by  curtains  was  an  harmonium,  upon  which 
war-songs  were  played,  accompanied  by  subdued  choruses.  And 
the  hall  was  decorated  with  Indian  and  Tibetan  carpets,  em- 
broideries and  housings,  weapons  of  every  description,  images 
and  sacred  pictures,  musical  instruments,  antlers,  bear-skins,  and 
stufTed    Indian    vultures.     In  the   midst  of  these   properties   the 


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y^y^*^^<.^^ 


^^^ 


painter — a  little  black-bearded  man, 
like  one  of  those  Caucasian  warriors 
who  appear  in  Theodor  Horschelt's 
work  "  From  the  Caucasus " — 
himself  did  the  honours  to  the 
guests  who  had  been  invited. 

Although  still  young,  Verest- 
chagin  had  already  seen  a  great 
deal  of  life.  After  leaving  the 
school  of  G6r6me  in  Paris,  he  ac- 
companied the  expedition  of  General 
Kaufmann  against  Samarcand. 
Horschelt,  with  whom  he  made 
acquaintance  at  the  scene  of  war 
in  the  Caucasus,  took  him  in  1870  for  a  couple  of  years  to 
Munich.  When  the  Russo-Turkish  War  broke  out  in  1877 
he  again  accompanied  the  Russian  troops,  and  even  took  an 
active  share  in  the  struggle :  he  was  in  the  Shipka  Pass, 
went  with  Gourko  over  the  Balkans,  was  present  at  the  siege 
of  Plevna,  and  worked  as  the  secretary  of  General  Skobeleff 
during  the  negotiations  of  peace  at  San  Stefano.  And,  having 
fought  everywhere  with  the  savageness  of  a  Caucasian,  he  began 
to  preach  peace  as  an  apostle  of  humanity. 

"The  Pyramid  of  Skulls — dedicated  to  all  Conquerors  past, 
present,  and  to  come,"  was  as  it  were  the  title-page  to  his  thrilling 
works.  In  "  Forgotten  "  a  wounded  soldier  lay  upon  the  field 
of  battle  with  famishing  ravens  gathering  round  him,  whilst  his 
battalion  was  seen  disappearing  in  the  distance.  In  another  of 
his  pictures  there  was  the  Emir  of  Samarcand  lost  in  agreeable 
contemplation  of  a  heap  of  decapitated  heads  strewn  at  his  feet. 
In  another  there  stood  a  fair-haired  priest  blessing  a  whole  crowd 
of  mutilated  Russians  upon  a  steppe.  Still  more  ghastly  was 
the  picture  entitled  "  The  Street  after  Plevna."  It  is  an  icy  cold 
winter's  day,  and  the  desolate  landscape  and  the  bodies  of  those 
who  have  died  upon  the  transport-car  are  covered  with  a  light 
crust  of  snow.  The  artillery  of  later  columns  have  driven  with 
indifference   over   the   dead,   crushing   them,  and   the   crows  and 


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436 


MODERN  PAINTING 


Verestchagin  : 


•'The  Pyramid  of  Skulls." 


ravens  thank 
the  Lord  for 
the  richly 
spread  table 
which  has 
been  pre- 
pared for 
them.  In 
dense  swarms 
they  flutter 
down  to  the 
opulent  ban- 
quet,     and 

most  densely  of  all  where  the  wheels  of  the  gun-carriages  have 
made  a  way  for  their  beaks.  Then,  thoroughly  sated,  they  alight 
upon  the  telegraph  wires  to  digest  their  meal  in  peace.  Ghastly 
corruption  reigns  in  "  The  Turkish  Hospital  before  Plevna,"  a 
gloomy  cellar  where  sick  and  wounded  men  welter  in  confused 
masses  amid  mouldy  corpses.  Near  this  hung  the  trilogy  of 
pictures  representing  the  sentinel  freezing  with  cold.  At  the 
side  of  that  was  the  picture  of  the  Czar  Alexander  with  his 
staff,  regarding  the  battle  raging  around  as  though  it  were  a 
stage-play.  "  Skobelefl*  in  the  Shipka  Pass "  brought  the  series 
to  a  conclusion.  There  he  is,  fat,  and  with  a  full,  flushed 
countenance,  dashing  over  the  ground,  which  is  covered  with 
snow  and  strewn  with  corpses,  as  he  good-humouredly  summons 
his  freezing  comrades  to  a  champagne  breakfast,  crying,  "  Brothers, 
I  thank  you  in  the  name  of  the  Emperor." 

In  spite  of  his  Parisian  studies  Verestchagin's  work  in  all 
these  pictures  was  very  crude — full  in  colour,  but  thin  and 
uninteresting  in  technique.  Moreover  the  ostentatious  arrange- 
ments which  he  made  for  his  exhibitions,  and  the  cleverness 
with  which  he  calculated  the  effect  upon  the  great  public,  did 
not  contribute  to  enhance  his  artistic  reputation.  And  his  coarse- 
ness and  crudity  when  he  works  by  legitimately  artistic  means 
may  be  seen  in  his  ethnographical  pictures  from  Turkestan  and 
India,   which    stand    in    technique    incomparably    below    similar 


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437 


works  by  Pasini, 
and  will  lose  what 
remains  of  their 
interest  with  the 
discovery  of  photo- 
graphy in  colours. 
Nevertheless  Verest- 
chagin's  significance 
for  Russian  art  is 
great. 

What  had  been 
hitherto  produced  in 
the  matter  of  battle- 
pieces  —  Orlovsky's 
work  excepted — is 
scarcely  worth  men- 
tioning. Sauerveid 
and  Villevalde  were 
lifeless  copyists  of 
Horace  Vernet 
Kotzebue,  the  son 
of  the  well-known 
author,  no  doubt 
showed  deftness  in 
composition,  groupings 
swarms   of  soldiers    in 


Munich :  Hanfsi&Hgl.^ 
Verestchagin  :    **The  Emir  of  Samarcand  visiting 
THE  Trophies." 


and  scenical  accessories.  There  are 
his  pictures.  Huge  cliffs,  ancient  for- 
tresses and  houses  tower  picturesquely  one  above  the  other.  But 
the  men  are  made  of  lead,  and  the  landscapes  are  stage-scenes, 
at  once  empty  and  banal.  In  fact  he  was  merely  an  opulent 
arrangeur  who  was  learned  in  uniforms,  and  the  dramatic  element 
of  war  escaped  him  altogether. 

Now  Verestchagin  struck  out  an  entirely  new  path.  A  short 
time  before  his  appearance  Tolstoi's  great  novel  War  and  Peace  haJ 
been  published,  and  there  war  had  been  for  the  first  time  depicted, 
not  from  the  prejudiced  standpoint  of  a  patriot,  but  with  the 
lucid  spirit  of  a  cosmopolitan  author.  The  mere  painting  of 
horrors  is  avoided  :    it  is  a  thing  rather  indicated   than  brought 


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438  MODERN  PAINTING 

out  in  detail ;  but  the  great  figure  of  the  Destroyer  with  his 
hyenas  and  his  terrors  is  nevertheless  the  principal  figure  of 
the  narrative.  Even  Tolstoi's  patriotism  sometimes  mocks  at 
itself,  and  from  the  midst  of  his  representations  of  soldierly 
loyalty  and  the  contempt  of  death  there  rises  the  heart-breaking 
cry :  "  To  what  purpose  ?  "  The  painter  continued  the  motives 
which  the  author  had  indicated.  All  who  had  gone  before 
him — and  not  in  Russia  alone — were  official  illustrators  who 
glorifieid  the  theme  "Dulce  et  decorum  est"  in  the  service  of 
victorious  Governments.  True  to  the  principles  of  young  Russia, 
Verestchagin  became  the  accuser  of  the  military  system,  by 
making  the  reverse  side  of  martial  splendour — all  the  misery 
and  the  sanguinary  destruction  of  masses,  with  which  glory  is 
purchased — the  subject  of  representation.  In  the  one  case  war 
is  represented  from  the  standpoint  of  the  regimental  captain ; 
in  the  other  from  one  which  is  purely  human.  He  wanted  to 
paint  war  as  it  is,  and  not  as  a  suitable  embellishment  for 
the  Winter  Palace.  And  here  he  is  a  pioneer  on  the  path  leading 
to  truth,  which  assures  him  an  honourable  if  not  a  lofty  place 
in  the  history  of  the  development  taken  by  the  modern  principle 
in  art. 

This  storm-and-stress  period  in  Russian  art  came  to  an  end 
with  Verestchagin.  It  was  impossible  to  be  for  ever  laying  on 
the  scourge,  uttering  curses,  and  thundering  against  the  evils  of 
creation.  After  the  storm  there  came  a  calm,  and  disillusionment 
after  the  revolt.  Society  became  quiet  again,  literature  laid  down 
its  arms,  and  painters  also  grew  weary  of  forgetting  their  own 
calling  in  the  service  of  progressive  ideas.  The  sensational  style 
of  painting  with  a  purpose-  and  a  grievance  was  thrown  into 
the  background,  and  all  the  greater  weight  was  laid  upon 
conscientious  and  harmonious  execution. 

In  this  battle  to  establish  what  was  purely  pictorial,  landscape 
played  the  mediating  part  in  Russia  as  in  the  rest  of  Europe. 
Russia  possesses  in  Turgeniev's  Diary  of  a  Sportsman  one  of  the 
most  remarkable  books  in  modern  literature.  Turgeniev  dis- 
covered the  forests  and  steppes  of  his  country,  and  made  them 
speak,  and  made  them  silent.      He  loves  nature  as  though   she 


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439 


Stschedrin  :   **  Sorrento/ 


were  a  mistress,  clings  to  her,  and  becomes  so  wedded  to  her  that 
he  feels  in  solitude  like  a  fish  in  the  cool  tide.  What  a  charming 
idyll  of  the  forest  it  is  when  in  the  course  of  the  day's  sport  he 
lies  on  his  back  and  looks  up  into  the  cloudy  sky,  or  when  he 
roams  of  an  evening  through  the  fragrant  meadow-lyid,  or 
crouches  at  night  beside  a  shepherd's  fire  and  watches  the  sky 
from  midnight  to  the  glimmering  of  dawn  ;  when  he  describes 
little  farms  where  content  and  poverty  are  mingled,  or  those 
of  the  gloomy  boundless  regions  in  the  interior  of  Russia,  where 
everything  is  sad,  like  a  vaporous,  grey,  rainy  day.  This  strange 
mixture  of  love  and  dread,  the  fervour  for  nature  and  the  horror 
of  her,  stands  alone  in  the  whole  literature  of  the  world.  Every 
blade  of  grass  lives  ;  everything  stirs,  and  the  creative  impulse  is 
everywhere ;  the  spirit  of  the  steppe  floats  visibly  over  the  earth, 
weird,  mysterious,  cold,  dumb,  and  awful.  And  in  art  also 
landscapes  are  the  most  enjoyable  productions  which  modern 
Russia  has  brought  forth. 

The  founder  of  this  Russian  school  was  Stschedrin^  who  died 
at  thirty-eight  in  Naples.     He  was  a  painter  who  was  so  simple 


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440  MODERN  PAINTING 

and  had  so  much  warmth  and  temperament  that  Europe  could 
not  show  the  like  in  the  twenties  of  this  century.  His  work 
towers  over  everything  which  was  at  that  time  painted  by 
Bertin  and  Valenciennes,  dr  even  Rottmann  and  Koch.  He 
was  the  direct  successor  of  Dujardin,  Berchem,  and  Pynacker, 
and  their  equal  in  spirit  His  landscapes  indeed,  which  are 
principally  views  of  Naples,  have  great  delicacy  of  colour,  although 
they  are  sometimes  heavy  and  bituminous  in  their  shadows. 
Moreover  they  are  so  full  of  light  and  air,  so  splendid,  and  so 
finely  and  energetically  painted,  that  it  is  astonishing  to  read  the 
date.  1 820  underneath,  for  1650  or  1660  might  be  more  readily 
ascribed  to  them. 

Lebedev,  who  also  died  young  in  Naples,  was  Stschedrin's 
energetic  follower  in  the  battle  against  Winckelmann's  principles. 
Indeed,  if  he  had  lived  a  few  years  longer  and  returned  to  his 
native  land,  Russian  painting  would  probably  have  been  able  to 
set  up  a  worthy  rival  to  the  great  European  landscapists  of  1830. 
Even  his  earliest  little  pictures,  painted  before  his  Italian  journey 
— thin  and  grey  views  of  St.  Petersburg — give  him  a  place 
amongst  the  first  champions  of  paysage  intime,  and  this  in  spite 
of  their  hard  tone  and  their  childish  and  awkward  technique. 
And  in  Italy  he  and  Blechen  were  the  first  who  rendered  the 
South  without  any  strained  effort  at  style.  "  Gradually,'*  he  writes, 
"  I  am  setting  myself  free  from  all  prejudices.  Nature  has 
opened  my  eyes,  and  I  am  beginning  to  be  her  slave.  In  my 
last  works  you  will  not  find  composition  or  effects,  for  every- 
thing is  simple  there." 

But  the  period  of  historical  painting  led  artists  astray  for 
some  time.  In  Russia,  as  elsewhere,  the  polished  exotic,  pictur- 
esque views,  cultivated  for  years  by  Vorobiev^  RabuSy  Lagorio^ 
Horavsky,  BogoliuboVy  Mestschersky^  and  others,  had  their  vogue. 
They  all  wished  merely  to  see  nature  through  a  prism  which 
would  render  her  beautiful ;  they  imitated  Calame  and  Achen- 
bach,  sometimes  adroitly  and  sometimes  mechanically,  indulged 
in  platitudes  which  have  been  long  outgrown,  and  are  tedious 
and  insipid,  in  spite  of  all  their  Oriental  towers,  Gothic  castles, 
calm  or  agitated  seas,  rocky  regions,  and  glaring  effects  of  light. 


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441 


Schischkin:   "A  Forest  Landscape." 


Aivasavsky  alone  takes  high  rank  amongst  them,  although  he 
was  a  rapid  painter,  a  d^corateur  for  ever  seizing  upon  loud, 
pyrotechnical  effects  a  la  Gudin.  But  in  spite  of  their  glaring 
and  violent  colours  many  of  his  sea-pieces  reproduce  with  great 
cogency  the  grandeur  and  crash  of  the  storm,  and  others  the 
limitless  peace  of  the  sea ;  and  in  virtue  of  these  he  seems  a 
forerunner  of  the  later  landscape  of  "mood." 

This  was,  in  fact,  developed  as  soon  as  Russian  landscape- 
painting  returned  to  Russian  soil.  But,  until  the  forties,  painters 
were  under  the  persuasion  that  their  home,  the  flat,  sad  country 
where  grey  was  harmonized  on  grey,  could  offer  no  subject  worth 
painting,  and  that  it  was  only  richly  coloured  Southern  prospects 
that  were  artistically  possible.  The  brothers  Tscliemezoff  and 
the  copper-engraver  Galaktionov^  indeed,  drew  views  of  towns 
according  to  all  the  rules  of  the  books  of  topography,  but 
without  higher  pretensions. 

Schischkin^  however,  recognized  that  the  Russian  painter  could 

only  love  and  understand    Russian  landscape,   and   reproduce    it 

artistically.     When  he  was  sent  abroad  he  begged  to  be  allowed 

to  return   and   paint  without  hindrance  what  was  dearer  to  him. 

VOL.  \\\,  29 


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442 


MODERN  PAINTING 


ScHiscHKiN :   "  A  Woody  Landscape.* 


{ArtiatM, 


than  all  else  beside.  The  north  of  Russia  is  a  pallid,  melancholy 
land.  It  is  without  great  lines  and  imposing  masses,  and  every- 
thing is  lost  in  vanishing  nuances.  Nevertheless  Schischkin 
succeeded  in  grasping  the  individuality  of  this  scenery,  and  in 
rendering  it  in  his  drawings  with  unrivalled  mastery — in  drawings, 
for  the  life  of  colour  was  a  thing  alien  to  him  throughout  his 
life.  All  his  oil-pictures  are  phlegmatically  prosaic,  paltry,  and 
pedantically  correct ;  but  the  fresh  spontaneity  and  chromatic 
delicacy  which  he  attained  in  his  etchings  and  charcoal  drawings 
are  all  the  more  striking. 

His  direct  followers  show  no  advance  in  technique.  Baron 
Klodt  had  a  certain  proclivity  for  the  picturesque,  in  consequence 
of  which  his  pictures  lost  in  plainness  and  intimacy,  while 
Orlovsky,  Fedders^  VolkoVy  and  others  remained  always  hard  in 
colour,  arid,  and  pedantic.  The  stripling  Vassiliev,  who  died 
at  three-and-twenty,  was,  in  fact,  the  first  to  prove  that  the 
landscape-painter  did  not  need  to  be  a  photographer  im- 
mortalizing   this    or    that    region    in   a  superficial    portrait,   but 


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-could  become  a  medium  between  man  and  nature,  an  interpreter 
■of  that  secret  musical  language  through  which  nature  in  all 
places  speaks  to  the  human  soul.  With  him  the  Russian 
landscape  of  "  mood "  was  first  born.  There  was  no  further 
requisition  for  Alpine  peaks  and  ocean,  and  motley  colours 
straining  after  eflTect,  for  the  artist  learnt  tenderly  and  simply 
to  celebrate  the  scenery  of  his  native  land.  Levitan  painted 
his  "  Quiet  Monastery,"  a  deeply  moving  picture  full  of  feeling  ; 
Kuindshi  painted  Southern  nights  and  bright  birch-woods  full 
of  quivering  air  and  moonlight  or  sunshine ;  Savrassov  delicate 
spring  landscapes  impregnated  with  great  poetic  feeling ; 
Sudkovsky  interpreted  gravely  the  majesty  of  the  sea  ;  Vassnetzov 
the  sad  waste  of  Siberia,  its  dark  plains  and  endless  virgin 
forests  ;  Albert  Benois  produced  brilliant  pictures  of  the  East, 
and  delicate,  sensitive  Russo-Finnish  landscapes ;  and  Svjeto- 
slavsky  seized  the  character  of  Moscow. 

And  through  these  landscape-painters,  who  went  their  own 
way  quietly  and  modestly,  far  from  the  tumult  of  philanthropical 
ideas,  there  rose  an  impulse  to  give  artistic  treatment  to  the 
figure-picture  likewise.  The  sense  of  the  purely  pictorial  was 
strengthened,  and  artists  began  to  turn  from  narrative  and 
didactic  art  and  to  represent  simply  what  they  saw  around 
them,  without  ulterior  designs.  At  first  they  did  so  feebly 
and  laboriously,  then  with  more  energy  and  with  increasing 
perception  and  ability.  Svertscfikov  painted  animal  pictures, 
but  could  hit  off  the  Russian  peasant  and  the  Russian  pro- 
prietor very  finely  indeed.  His  representations  of  horses  in 
particular — those  poor  little  patient  Russian  horses,  now  sink- 
ing in  the  snow,  now  scorched  by  the  sun  or  trotting 
merrily  in  the  troika — are  exceedingly  truthful,  animated,  and 
sympathetic.  Peter  Sokolov  produced  hunting-scenes,  funerals, 
and  tavern-rooms — all  in  a  plain  and  vigorous  style,  which 
was  now  and  then  cynical,  though  always  striking.  He  is 
a  painter  of  individuality  even  in  his  technique,  for  his 
pictures  are  a  mixture  of  delicate  aquarelles,  heavy  gouache 
colours,  pastel,  and  ink.  Through  the  most  remarkable  com- 
binations   he    succeeds    in    attaining    an    impression    which    is 


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444 


MODERN  PAINTING 


Ivan  Kramskoi. 


sometimes  crude,  but  frequently 
exceedingly  piquant  and  full  of 
character. 

But  the  principal  advance  was 
made  by  a  phalanx  of  young^ 
artists  who  worked  their  way 
upwards  during  the  sixties  and 
seventies.  In  1863  thirteen 
pupils  completed  their  studies 
at  the  St.  Petersburg  Academy^ 
and  entered  into  competition 
for  the  gold  medal,  which  took 
the  place  there  of  the  Prix^ 
de  Rome,  Their  leader  was  a 
somewhat  older  student,  Ivan 
Kramskoi y  a  poor  young  fellow 
who  could  barely  earn  his  bread  as  retoucher  at  a  photo- 
grapher's. The  pictures  which  he  had  produced  at  the  time 
of  his  death  are  few,  and  have  long  been  surpassed  by  the 
performances  of  younger  men.  There  are  some  portraits  which 
for  all  their  earnest  veracity  do  not  get  beyond  the  arid  effect 
of  photography.  And  even  his  few  figure-pictures,  such  as 
"  Anguish  that  will  not  be  Comforted "  (a  mother  bewailing 
her  son),  only  produce  a  mediocre  effect  in  spite  of  their 
forcible  realism  and  their  sincerity,  which  is  free  from  all 
forced  vehemence.  But  in  the  history  of  Russian  art  Kramskoi 
has  the  importance  of  one  who  had  a  quickening  influence. 
He  served  the  young  school  with  his  head  rather  than  his 
hand.  He  was  an  ardent  spirit,  an  energetic  agitator,  and 
soon  gathered  all  around  him  who  were  healthy,  fresh  in 
mind,  and  enthusiastic.  And  his  ideas  upon  art  and  the 
loftiness  of  the  artist's  calling  were  worked  out  so  completely^ 
and  he  had  the  secret  of  laying  them  before  his  younger 
comrades  with  such  conviction,  enthusiasm,  and  impressiveness^ 
that  they  all  looked  up  to  him  as  their  standard-bearer.  In 
Kramskoi's  confined  room,  where  the  furniture  consisted  of  a 
few  broken  chairs  and  poverty  was  a  daily  visitant,  those  seeds 


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RUSSIA  445 

of  thought  were  developed  which  soon  became  the  guiding 
principles  of  the  new  Russian  painting. 

When  the  Board  of  Professors  at  St.  Petersburg  refused  to 
give  the  thirteen  competitors  free  choice  of  subject  for  their 
prize  exercise,  wishing  to  compel  them  to  represent  "The  Grod 
Odin  in  Valhalla,"  they  one  and  all  left  the  Academy  in  open 
feud.  They  were  tired  of  having  an  official  style  prescribed 
to  them  by  the  accepted  "school,"  and  no  longer  cared  to  have 
a  uniform  forced  upon  their  work.  Imagination  and  creative 
energy  were  more  to  them  than  laws  or  code,  for  they  wanted 
to  be  free  men  and  not  to  purchase  diplomas  by  convention 
and  medals.  Between  academicism  and  individual  purpose  there 
was  the  same  breach  in  Russia  that  took  place  sooner  or  later 
in  every  other  country.  "The  Society  for  Wandering  Ex- 
hibitions," which  up  to  the  present  has  remained  the  centre 
of  the  Russian  national  school,  and  which  comprehends  in  itself 
all  the  young,  animated,  and  promising  men  of  talent  in  the 
country,  was  recruited  from  these  seceding  painters  in  1870. 
And  though  it  is  a  centre  it  is  one  that  wanders  through  the 
•entire  land.  The  "  Wanderers "  have  emancipated  Russian 
painting  from  everything  alien,  anecdotic,  didactic,  and  eclectic; 
they  have  placed  it  upon  thoroughly  national  soil,  endowed  it 
with  a  new  and  independent  technique,  and  within  a  few  years 
they  have  won  an  honourable  position  amid  European  schools 
of  art 

Meanwhile  some  of  those  thirteen  students  have  forgotten 
their  storm-and-stress  period  and  become  different  men.  Most 
of  all  is  this  true  of  Constantin  Makavsky,  who  is  now  but  a 
caricature  of  what  he  was  when  he  painted  his  "  Carnival  in 
St.  Petersburg"  and  the  gloomy  "Child's  Funeral  in  the 
Country."  All  the  decorative  panels,  visionary  heads  of  maidens, 
musing  "bojar"  women,  and  indecently  voluptuous  bacchanals, 
which  he  turns  out  by  the  dozen,  have  an  insufferable  light  rosy 
crust  of  colour ;  they  have  all  the  same  weak  drawing,  and  the 
same  sensuousness  unredeemed  by  a  trace  of  taste.  Even  his 
pictures  from  the  life  of  "  bojars "  in  the  sixteenth  and  seven- 
teenth  centuries,  which   are    in    great   request    in   America,  are 


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V.  Makovsky:   "A  Bankruptcy.' 


spoilt  by  sickly  sentimentality  or  a  misapplied  air  of  distinction 
and  comnie-il-faut. 

His  younger  brother,  Vladimir  Makovsky,  has  still  a  weakness 
for  lachrymose  anecdotes,  aimed  in  a  commonplace  way  against 
society ;  or  in  an  effort  at  characterization  he  falls  into  obtrusive 
caricature  a  la  Briitt.  But  in  his  smaller  and  less  ambitious 
pictures,  which  are  delicately  painted  after  nature,  he  is  tasteful, 
luxuriant,  and  really  fine. 

The  greatest  of  them  all,  from  the  very  first  day,  was  Elias 
Ripin,  and  he  remains  so  still.  In  him  was  embodied  the  artistic 
power  of  contemporary  Russia.  His  works,  with  those  of  Tolstoi, 
Turgeniev,  Gontscharov,  and  Dostoievski,  will  hand  down  to 
later  times  a  vivid  and  characteristic  account  of  the  Russia  of 
the  last  five-and-twenty  years  in  all  its  completeness — an  account 
including  all  grades  of  society,  from  the  nobles  to  the  outlaws,  the 
village  clergy  and  the  peasants. 

R^pin  is  now  slightly  over  fifty  years  of  age.  Springing 
from  an  old  Cossack  stock,  he  was  born  in  1844  at  Tschuguev^ 
in  the  department  of  Charkow.  As  the  son  of  an  indigent  officer, 
he  received  his  first  instruction  in  the  village  school,   which  was- 


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carried  on  by  his 
mother,  being  taught 
at  a  later  period  by 
the  sexton  of  the 
parish  church. 
Then  he  entered 
a  military  school, 
which  was  broken 
up  when  he  was 
thirteen.  A  me- 
chanical painter  of 
saints  of  the  name 
of  Bunakov  gave 
him  his  first  know- 
ledge of  drawing. 
And  at  the  end  of 
three  years  he  was 
already  in  a  position 
to  gain  a  livelihood 
by  painting  the  pic- 
tures of  saints,  and 
three  years  after  that  he  wandered  to  the  distant  imperial  city 
upon  the  Neva  to  enter  the  Academy  there.  During  the  six 
years  that  he  remained  as  an  Academy  pupil  his  talent  developed 
rapidly.  Even  the  picture  entitled  "The  Raising  of  Jairus's 
Daughter,"  produced  for  an  Academy  prize  competition,  revealed 
him  in  his  power  and  energy,  gleaming  like  a  diamond  amongst 
pebbles  beside  the  other  works  sent  in  for  competition.  The 
medal,  accompanied  by  a  travelling  scholarship  of  some  years*^ 
duration,  was  awarded  to  him.  So  he  went  abroad  to  Paris  and 
Rome,  studying  both  the  old  and  the  modern  masters.  Yet  he 
was  not  ensnared  by  foreign  influences.  In  fact  the  best  pic- 
ture which  he  painted  in  Italy,  **  Szadko  in  the  Wonderful  Realm 
of  the  Sea,"  was  based  upon  a  national  Russian  saga.  In  a  gulf 
of  the  sea  penetrated  by  the  sunshine,  nixies  and  sea-nymphs^ 
embodying  the  different  feminine  types  of  Europe,  are  vainly 
striving  to  catch  the  young  and  handsome  Szadko  ;  but  it  was 


Makovsky:   **A  Duet." 


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only  Tschernavuschka 
emerging  vaguely  in  the 
distance  that  enchained 
him.  And  the  painter 
himself  was  drawn  home- 
wards. Even  before  his 
scholarship  had  expired  he 
begged  permission  to  re- 
turn, and  in  1873  he  com- 
pleted his  "Burlaki,"  the 
men  who  tow  vessels  along 
the  Volga,  the  masterpiece 
of  modern  Russian  art. 

"In  the  blaze  of  the 
noonday  sun,  youths,  men, 
and  boys  are  tramping 
along,  in  the  burning  sand 
on  the  flat,  unsheltered 
banks  of  the  river,  with 
the  thick  ropes  round 
breast  and  shoulders,  and 
their  tanned,  naked  feet  planted  upon  the  hot  ground.  The 
hair  falls  in  disorder  upon  their  brownish-red  brows,  which  are 
dripping  with  perspiration.  Here  and  there  a  man  holds  his 
arm  before  his  face  to  protect  himself  from  the  scorching  rays. 
Singing  a  monotonous,  melancholy,  barbaric  melody,  they  drag 
the  high-masted  barque  laden  with  crops,  up-stream,  through  the 
wide,  deserted  plain ;  their  work  was  yesterday  what  it  is  to-day 
and  will  be  to-morrow.  It  is  as  if  they  had  been  tramping  like 
this  for  centuries,  and  would  be  pushing  forward  in  the  same 
way  for  centuries  to  come.  Types  they  are  of  the  life  of  serfs 
in  Europe,  types  cast  variously  together  from  the  North  and 
the  South  and  the  East  of  the  vast  empire,  by  the  hand  of 
Fate  :  the  children  of  different  slave-races,  most  of  them  figures 
of  iron,  though  there  are  some  who  seem  feeble  ;  some  are  in- 
different too,  whilst  others  are  brooding  gloomily, — but  they  are 
one  and  all  pulling  at  the  same  rope." 


Elias  RiPIN. 


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Repin  :   *'Men  towing  a  Ship  along  the  Volga." 

With  this  picture,  an  epic  embodying  the  spirit  of  the  Russian 
people,  R^pin  stood  out  as  a  finished  artist.  He  had  looked 
upon  these  worn-out  men,  set  to  the  work  of  brutes,  with  the 
eye  of  a  philanthropist  and  the  eagle  glance  of  an  artist ;  their 
sorrowful  songs  had  moved  him  deeply,  and  he  grasped  the 
dreadful  reality  with  an  inflexible  hand,  and  placed  it  with 
glowing  colours  upon  the  canvas  in  all  its  fearful  veracity.  A 
dumb  sorrow  overshadows  the  picture,  all  the  pessimistic  gloom 
that  hovers  over  Russia.  As  yet  no  other  work  had  expressed 
with  all  the  resources  of  European  painting  the  resigned  suffering 
and  that  weary  absence  of  desire  which  are  the  peculiarity  of 
this  race  of  people.  And  let  him  paint  portraits,  or  rustic  life, 
or  pictures  from  Russian  history,  R^pin  remained,  even  in  his 
later  works,  ever  the  same  inherently  forceful  master. 

An  element  of  gloom,  oppression,  and  debasement  reigns 
consistently  throughout.  Even  when  he  represents,  for  a  change, 
the  village  youth  in  the  joy  of  the  dance,  the  merriment 
resembles  inebriation.  But  the  denunciatory  narrative  element 
has  been  finally  cast  aside.  In  place  of  the  vehement  extrava- 
gances of  inartistic  painting  with  a  moral  purpose,  there  is  in 
R^pin  a  mild  fervour  reconciled  with  suffering  and  subdued  to 
a  spirit  of  still  humility.  There  rises  from  his  pictures  a  heavy 
feeling  that  weighs  upon  the  heart,  and  this  simply  because  he 
painted  so  plainly  what  he  saw.      There  is  in  them  an  ineffable 


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MODERN  PAINTING 


RcPiN  :   ♦*  The  Cossacks*  Jeering  Reply  to  the  Sultan.'* 

luxury  of  woe,  a  low  yearning  cry  for  the  peacefulness  of  death, 
something  of  the  resigned  melancholy  of  Russian  songs  with 
their  slow  movement  There  is  in  them,  as  in  the  works  of  the 
Russian  authors,  a  profound  compassion  for  the  poor  and 
miserable — the  suffering,  hopeless  mood  which  weighs  upon  the 
country  everywhere,  the  entire  spirit  of  this  strange  nation, 
which  is  still  young  and  in  its  prime,  and  yet  sick  in  spirit, 
and  looking  faint  and  weary  to  a  leaden  sky. 

In  a  large  picture  of  1883  a  church  procession  may  be  seen 
upon  its  way  forth.  All  the  people  from  the  neighbourhood 
of  the  village  have  set  out,  young  and  old,  halt  and  sound. 
A  troop  of  peasants,  in  torn  furs  and  patched  clothes,  are 
panting  as  they  carry  along  with  stupid  looks  a  heavy  shrine, 
hoisted  upon  poles  and  festally  adorned  with  ribbons.  The 
crowd  are  pressing  and  elbowing  behind — cripples  and  hunch- 
backs, a  dirty  sexton  staring  straight  before  him,  and  old 
women  muttering  prayers  in  a  dull,  smothered  ecstasy.  And 
a  tall  country  gendarme  is  laying  into  them,  right  and  left, 
with  the  knout,  to  make  room  for  the  clergy,  the  head  of  rural 
police,  and  the  village  elders.  Then  there  are  again  masses 
of  people,  fluttering  banners  and  crucifixes,  an  endless  defile  of 


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451 


LtipMtg:  StemanM.] 

Repin:    "The  Miracle  of  St.  Nicholas." 


misery,  hebetude, 
helplessness,  and 
filth,  and  at  the 
tail  of  the  body 
another  gendarme 
with  a  whip.  Huge 
volumes  could  tell 
no  more  of  the  his- 
tory of  the  countr>' 
than  this  simple 
picture,  in  the  centre 
of  which  the  knout 
is  whistling  in  the 
very  midst  of  eccle- 
siastical banners. 

Amongst  R^pin's 
portraits,  those  of 
the  poet  Pissemski, 
with  strange,  vivid 
eyes ;  that  of  the  composer  Mussorsky,  sketched  a  few  days 
before  his  death  ;  that  of  the  novel-writer  Vassevolad  Garschin, 
who  died  young  by  his  own  hand  a  few  years  ago  ;  and  those 
of  Count  Tolstoi,  are  worthy  of  special  praise.  Tolstoi  he  has 
painted  several  times,  representing  him  upon  one  occasion  striding 
behind  the  plough. 

At  comparatively  recent  exhibitions  some  historical  pictures 
of  his  made  a  sensation.  After  Russian  painting  had  gone  through 
the  school  of  life,  and  bold  naturalism  had  taken  the  place  of 
classical  abstraction,  painters  could  venture  to  utilize  national 
history  without  falsity  or  theatrical  costume.  The  first  attempt 
of  this  kind  had  been  made  by  Tschistjakov  in  his  picture 
"Sophie  Vitotovna."  In  the  sixties  Schwarz,  who  died  early, 
came  forward  with  his  energetic  representations  from  the  six- 
teenth and  seventeenth  centuries.  Jacohy  sought  to  catch  the 
historical  physiognomy  of  Russian  Court  life  in  the  eighteenth 
century.  With  his  "Puschkin"  and  his  "Peter  I."  the  portrait- 
painter   Gay  was  very  successful.     Surikov  produced  his  "Bojar 


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R^piN :  Count  Leo  Tolstoi. 

Woman  Norosovna"  and  "The  Execution  of  the  Strelitzes," 
gloomy  and  thoroughly  Russian  pictures,  bearing  witness  to  an 
earnest  attempt  to  live  the  life  of  the  past.  But  in  this  field 
also  R6pin  distanced  all  his  predecessors,  plunged  into  the  past 
with  most  energy  and  freedom,  broke  with  all  tame  compromise 
the  most  abruptly,  and  conjured  up  things  long  gone  by  with  a 
terrible  force  of  conviction,  as  though  they  had  been  seen  and 
lived  through.  His  "  Ivan  the  Cruel,  who  has  slain  his  Son  in 
a  Sudden  Paroxysm  of  Fury,"  made  such  an  impression  at  the 
exhibition  of  1885  that  the  public  stood  before  it  horrified,  while 
ladies  were  carried  away  fainting.  It  might  have  recalled  the 
best  modem  historical  pictures  of  Spain,  except  that  R^pin's  work 
made  a  more  gloomy,  elemental,  and  barbaric  effect.  An  old 
man,  with  his  face  spattered  with  blood  and  his  savage  features 
distorted  with  despair,  kneels  on  the  floor  in  the  centre  of  a  wide 
hall  of  the  Kremlin  :  his  eyes  start  from  their  sockets,  dilated  with 
horror,  and  stare  vacantly  in  the  torture  of  conscience ;  in  his  arms 
he  holds  the  fainting  figure  of  a  youth,  over  whose  countenance, 
which  streams  with  blood,  death  casts  its  awful  shadow. 

R^pin's  picture  "  The  Cossacks'  Jeering  Reply  to  the  Sultan  "  is 


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RUSSIA  453 

a  combination  of  magnificent  military  heads,  a  collection  of  figures 
conceived  with  a  force  recalling  Gogol ;  they  are  figures  that  are 
really  made  of  flesh  and  blood,  and  barbaric  to  the  bone  and 
marrow.  No  brilliant  painting  of  material  has  been  aimed  at> 
no  grace  in  line  and  composition.  He  makes  use  of  historical 
painting  merely  to  depict  children  of  nature  in  their  primitive 
passions.  His  picture  of  St.  Nicholas  preventing  the  execution 
of  three  innocent  men  who  have  been  condemned  to  death  has 
something  butcherly  in  conception,  and  in  execution  something 
inherently  thrilling.  At  once  imperious  and  impressive  is  the 
gesture  with  which  the  saint  strikes  the  arm  of  the  brutal  and 
astonished  executioner,  a  man  of  muscular  build,  while  the  enthu- 
siasm of  the  victims,  in  their  gratitude  to  their  good  genius,  is 
powerful  and  convincing.  In  technique,  also,  R6pin  is  a  great 
modem  master,  with  a  sharp  decision  in  drawing  and  colour, 
and  an  earnest,  almost  ascetic  simplicity,  which  admit  only  of 
what  is  indispensable  and  subservient  to  the  designed  effect  of 
the  picture.  His  "Ship's  Crew"  of  1873  was  praised  as  the 
sunniest  picture  at  the  Vienna  Exhibition  ;  and  from  that  time 
he  has  gone  forward  with  a  firm  step.  His  works  became  lighter 
and  brighter  from  year  to  year  ;  and  R6pin  found  what  Ivanov 
had  sought  in  vain— sun,  air,  and  life.  To  Russian  art  he  is 
what  Menzel  is  to  German  and  what  Manet  was  to  French.  He 
breathes  the  atmosphere  of  his  own  time  and  his  own  people, 
and  since  his  appearance  there  has  been  a  greater  number  of 
masters  who  have  painted  Russian  life  with  a  knowledge  of  all 
the  resources  of  the  new  French  technique,  together  with  that 
feeling  for  nature  and  humanity  which  marks  the  most  eminent 
performances  of  Russian  literature.  The  secret  song  of  the 
steppes,  that  song  of  boundless  love  and  boundless  sufferings,  is 
becoming  intelligible  to  painters  at  last  Their  tale  is  not  yet 
complete  in  the  European  sessions  of  art,  and  beside  the  Western 
nations  they  are  "  dead  souls "  as  yet.  But  they  began  a  great 
period  of  liberation  in  Russian  painting,  and  when  that  man 
comes  who  shall  arouse  these  souls  from  slumber,  he  may  hope 
the  best  from  their  youthful  vigour  which  has  never  been 
worked  out. 


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CHAPTER    XLIV 

AMERICA 

The  previous  history  of  American  art — The  first  Americans  who  worked 
in  England :  Benjamin  West,  John  Singleton  Copley,  Gilbert  Stuart 
Newton,  Charles  Robert  Leslie.  —  The  first  portrait-painters  in 
America  itself :  Gilbert  Stuart,  Charles  Wilson  Peale^  Joseph 
Wright,  Loring  Charles  Elliot, — The  grand  painting :  John  Trum^ 
bull,  Washington  Allston,  Emanuel  Leutze,  —  Genre  painting: 
William  Sydney  Mount — The  landscape-painters  :  Thomas  Cole, 
Albert  Biers tadt,  John  B,  Bristol,  Frederick  E.  Church,  J.  F. 
Kensett,  Sanford  R,  Gifford,  James  Fairman,  the  Morgans, 
William  Morris  Hunt — The  Americans  in  Paris :  Henry  Mosler, 
Carl  Gutherz,  Frederick  A,  Bridgman,  Edwin  Weeks,  Harry 
Humphrey  Moore,  Julius  Z.  Stewart,  Charles  Spragtie  Pearce, 
William  T,  Dannat,  Alexander  Harrison,  Walter  Gay,  Eugine 
Vail,  Walter  MacEwen,  —  The  Americans  in  Holland:  Gari 
Melchers,  George  Hitchcock, — The  Americans  in  London  :  John 
Singer  Sargent,  Henry  Muhrmann, — The  Americans  in  Munich: 
Carl  Marr,  Charles  Frederick  Ulrich,  Robert  Koehler,  Sion 
Wenban,  Orrin  Peck,  Hermann  Hartwich, — The  Americans  at 
home,— The  painters  of  Negro  and  Indian  life:  Winslow  Homer, 
A  If  red  Kappes,  G,  Brush, — The  founding  of  the  Society  of  American 
Artists:  Walter  Shir  law,  George  Fuller,  George  Inness,  Wyatt 
Eaton^  Dwight  William  Tryon^  J.  Appleton  Brawny  the  Morans^ 
L,  C.  Tiffany^  John  Francis  Murphy ^  Childe  Hassam^  Julian  Alden 
Weir^  H,  W,  Ranger,  H.  S.  Bisbing,  Charles  H,  Davis,  George 
Innessy  junior,  J.  G,  Brown,  J.  M.  C.  Hamilton,  Ridgway  Knight, 
Robert  William  Vonnoh,  Charles  Edmund  Tarbell.—The  influence 
of  Whistler :  Kenyon  Cox,  W.  Thomas  Dewing,  Julius  Rolshoven, 
William  Merrit  Chase, 

IN  spite  of  its  greater  geographical  distance  America  lies 
nearer  to  the  artistic  centres  of  Europe  than  Russia.  It  is 
only  possible  to  become  acquainted  with  Russian  painting  in 
the  country  itself,  at  its  "  wandering  exhibitions,"  but  the 
successes  of  the   Americans  are  chronicled  in  the  annals  of  the 

454 


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AMERICA  455 

Paris  Salon.  Their  art  is  an  exact  echo  of  that  of  Europe, 
because  they  have  learnt  their  technique  in  the  leading  European 
Academies.  Indeed  the  drama  of  America  is  divided  into  the 
very  same  acts  as  that  of  Europe.  The  piece  which  has  gone 
the  round  of  the  theatres  of  Europe  is  produced  in  America, 
though  the  names  of  the  actors  are  not  the  same. 

Up  to  the  Declaration  of  Independence  in  1776  there  were 
neither  painters  nor  sculptors  in  America.  People  ate  and 
drank,  and  built,  and  reclaimed  the  land,  and  multiplied.  But 
a  large  bar  of  iron  was  of  more  value  than  the  finest  statue, 
and  an  ell  of  good  cloth  was  prized  more  highly  than  "  The 
Transfiguration"  of  Raphael.  Here  and  there,  perhaps,  there 
were  old  family  portraits  which  some  emigrant  had  brought 
with  him  from  Europe,  but  these  were  not  calculated  to  awaken 
a  taste  for  art  As  a  rule  public  buildings  were  made  of  wood, 
or  of  brick  at  best,  and  they  had  no  pretensions  to  style.  The 
settlers  were  poor,  and  far  too  much  occupied  with  getting  fish 
and  potatoes  for  their  daily  support  to  trouble  themselves  about 
problems  of  colour.  In  addition  to  this,  art  was  repudiated  by 
the  Quakers  as  a  bauble  of  the  world.  And  it  was  only  when 
the  dollar  began  to  display  its  might  that  enterprising  portrait- 
painters,  who  had  failed  in  Europe,  occasionally  crossed  the 
ocean  to  make  the  New  World  happy  with  their  dubious  art 

Incited  by  these  strangers,  a  few  young  men  on  the  far  side 
of  the  world  cherished  the  belief  that  they  could  find  a  lucra- 
tive vocation  by  painting.  But,  since  the  ground  was  not  yet 
ready  for  them  at  home,  they  first  set  to  work  in  Europe.  As 
soon  as  he  was  one-and-twenty,  Benjamin  West,  the  first  artist 
born  in  the  New  World,  went  over  to  London,  where  he  after- 
wards became  the  President  of  the  Royal  Academy.  He  was 
followed  by  John  Singleton  Copley,  who  opposed  the  Classical 
productions  of  the  age  by  his  vigorous  representations  of  con- 
temporary events  of  war,  while  Gilbert  Stuart  Newton  and 
Charles  Robert  Leslie  play  a  part  in  the  history  of  English 
genre  painting. 

When,  at  the  close  of  the  revolutionary  war,  the  population 
gradually  came   to    know   more    of   peace,    artistic    needs    were 


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456  MODERN  PAINTING 

first  felt  in  America  itself;  but  a  favourable  field  was  at  first 
only  offered  for  portrait- painters,  as  was  the  case  in  England 
also.  Born  in  Narraganset  in  1756,  Gilbert  Stuart  was  notably 
active  in  Boston  from  the  year  1793,  after  he  had  returned 
from  Europe ;  and  he,  to  begin  with,  is  a  man  who  might 
hold  his  own  with  honour  beside  the  great  British  portraitists. 
He  was  a  man  of  independent  mind,  who  neither  imitated 
his  master,  West,  nor  yet  Reynolds  and  Gainsborough,  nor 
borrowed  anything  from  the  old  painters.  "  I  mean  to  sec 
nature,"  he  said,  "  with  my  own  eyes.  Rembrandt  looked  at 
her  with  his  and  Raphael  with  his,  and  although  they  have 
nothing  in  common,  both  are  marvellous."  IJe  was  a  masterly 
colourist,  and  in  some  of  his  portraits,  such  as  that  of  Wash- 
ington in  the  Boston  Athenaeum,  or  that  of  "  Mr.  Grant  upon 
the  Ice,"  stands  immediately  beside  Gainsborough.  The  latter 
picture,  in  fact,  was  exhibited  in  England  in  1878  over  the 
name  of  Gainsborough,  and  was  then  first  put  to  the  credit  of 
the  real  master. 

In  addition  to  Stuart,  Charles  Wilson  Peale^  Joseph  Wright, 
Chester  Harding,  and,  more  particularly,  Loring  Charles  Elliot 
acquired  fame  as  incisive  masters  of  characterization.  Elliot, 
as  a  matter  of  fact,  was  one  of  the  best  of  his  age.  A  trait  of 
greatness  and  of  the  most  keen  and  fine  characterization  runs 
through  his  pictures.  The  people  he  painted  are  gnarled  genuine 
types  of  that  race  which  felled  the  woods,  cultivated  the  wide  and 
desolate  lands,  and  in  the  space  of  a  single  century  gave  their 
republic  strength  to  take  a  place  amongst  the  foremost  nations. 
One  of  these  portrait-painters,  John  Trumbull,  who  had  taken 
part  in  the  War  of  Independence  as  Washington's  adjutant,  and 
who  had  been  for  a  long  time  one  of  West's  pupils  when  a 
political  prisoner  in  London,  made  a  transition  from  portrait- 
painting  to  the  glorification  of  his  country's  deeds  in  war. 
Influenced  by  Copley's  London  pictures,  he  addressed  a  letter  to. 
the  President  of  the  Republic,  offering  "  to  preserve  the  memory  of 
every  national  event  by  a  monumental  work."  And  evidence  of 
his  muscular  energy  is  specially  to  be  found  in  the  series  of  mural 
paintings  from  the  American  War  of  Independence  with  which  he 


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embellished  the  Capitol  of  Washington  in  1817.  Besides  these 
there  are  to  be  seen  in  American  collections  historical  pieces 
of  his,  such  as  "The  Battle  of  Bunkers  Hill"  "The  Death  of 
Montgomery/'  "  The  Declaration  of  American  Independence," 
"The  Departure  of  the  Garrison  from  Gibraltar,"  and  other 
works  of  a  similar  kind,  which  in  their  healthy  realism  are  more 
or  less  of  a  parallel  to  the  pictures  of  Gros. 

By  the  Romantic  movement  America  was  only  moderately 
affected,  for  there  were  no  knights  or  monks  or  bandits  over 
whom  it  was  possible  to  wax  enthusiastic ;  and  the  tendency 
which  reached  its  climax  in  Ingres  and  Cornelius  only  found  a 
representative  in  Washington  Allston.  He  was  a  many-sided 
man  who  had  first  studied  under  West,  and  then  for  some  years 
in  Italy,  while  from  1818  he  painted  in  Boston  representations 
from  the  Bible  and  from  history,  portraits,  ideal  figures,  genre 
pictures,  and  landscapes.  He  was  lauded  for  his  poetic  vein,  and 
named  the  American  Titian.  Such  enthusiasm  on  the  part  of 
contemporaries  is,  of  course,  invariably  followed  by  a  more 
chastened  style  of  criticism,  and  Koehler,  in  his  history  ot 
American  painting,  can  find  nothing  to  say  to  Allston's  advantage. 
Nevertheless,  so  far  as  his  principal  works  can  be  judged  by 
reproductions,  he  seems  to  have  been  a  strong  and  forcible  artist, 
"  The  Two  Sisters,"  "  Jeremiah  and  the  Scribe,"  and  "  The  Dead 
Man  raised  after  touching  the  Bones  of  Elisha"  are  favourable 
samples  of  his  work.  The  drawing  is  noble  and  large,  the  idea 
simple  and  deep,  and  the  figures  betray  something  bluff,  out- 
landish, and  realistically  angular,  which  brings  him  nearer  the 
English  Preraphaelites  than  the  Idealists. 

With  Allston's  death  in  1843,  however,  his  style  became 
extinct,  and  the  genius  of  grand  painting*  departed  from  the 
New  World  for  ever,  while  a  German,  Emanuel  Leutze,  went 
further  on  the  path  trodden  by  West  and  Copley.  Born  in 
Wurtemberg  and  nearly  chosen  as  Director  in  Diisseldorf,  he  can- 
not altogether  be  reckoned  amongst  the  Americans.  And  indeed 
his  pictures  from  the  War  of  Liberation  are  really  American  in 
nothing  except  subject ;  while  it  is,  at  most,  the  staid,  virile  trait 
in  his  work  which  distinguishes  him  from  the  Diisseldorfers. 
VOL.  III.  30 


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458  MODERN  PAINTING 

However  his  "  Washington  crossing  the  Delaware "  is  a  sincere 
and  loyal  historical  picture,  which  in  its  quiet,  matter-of-fact 
composition  rather  resembles  an  earnest  artist  like  Copley  than 
Lessing  with  his  sentimentalism  and  exaggeration. 

After  Leutze  had  shown  the  way,  Germany  for  a  time  took 
the  place  of  England  and  Italy  as  a  training-school  for  American 
artists.  A  whole  troop — Edward  White,  William  Henry  Powell, 
and  Henry  Peters  Gray  amongst  the  number — followed  him  to  Diis- 
seldorf,  and,  after  their  return,  endowed  the  world  with  historical 
pictures  of  a  sentimental  and  academical  cast.  Even  the  genre 
painters  in  America  differed  little  from  their  Diisseldorf  con- 
temporaries. Mention  should  be  made  of  a  pupil  of  Meyerheim, 
Thomas  Hill,  who  was  fond  of  making  his  Californian  landscapes 
the  stage  for  idyllic  scenes  of  childhood,  and  there  was  Daniel 
Huntingdon,  who  at  the  close  of  his  life,  when  he  was  President 
of  the  New  York  Academy,  indulged  in  allegorical  pictures,  such 
as  "  Mercy's  Dream,"  "  The  Sibyls,"  apd  the  like.  The  place 
taken  in  England  by  Wilkie  belongs  in  America  to  William 
Sydney  Mount.  Himself  a  farmer,  he  adapted  the  life  of  American 
countryfolk  and  negroes  for  facetious  purposes.  But  though  he 
made  use  of  a  studio  upon  wheels,  with  which  he  was  able  to 
go  round  the  country,  his  pictures — "  Bargaining  for  a  Horse," 
**The  Cheat,"  "The  Little  Thieves,"  and  so  forth — might  just 
as  well  have  been  painted  in  England  or  Germany  as  in  America. 

Indeed  the  most  original  work  produced  in  American  painting 
in  those  days  was  done  in  the  field  of  landscape.  William  CuUen 
Bryant's  Thanatopsis  appeared  in  1 8 1 7,  and  this  was  a  book  which 
had  the  same  significance  for  America  as  the  works  of  Thomson 
and  Rousseau  had  for  England  and  France :  soon  afterwards 
**  The  Hudson-River  School "  began  to  rise,  glorifying  the  marvels 
of  the  Rocky  Mountains,  the  banks  of  the  Hudson,  and  the 
American  lakes,  though  at  first  only  in  the  Classical  style.  The 
real  initiator  of  the  movement  was  Thotnas  Cole,  who  goes  on  lines 
more  or  less  parallel  with  those  of  the  Germans  Koch  and 
Reinhart,  and  in  some  of  his  works  with  those  of  Joseph  Vernet. 
Poussin  was  his  ideal,  historical  composition  his  strong  point,  and 
colour  his  weakness. 


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Then,  for  a  time,  German  Romanticism  with  its  lyrical  temper 
and  its  sickly  passion  for  moonshine  became  the  determining  in- 
fluence. As  Cole,  who  came  from  England,  applied  the  principles 
-of  Wilson  to  American  mountain  scenery,  Albert  Bierstadt^  who 
was  born  in  Diisseldorf,  introduced  the  Diisseldorfian  manner  of 
landscape  into  the  New  World.  Having  studied  under  Lessing 
on  the  Rhine  in  1853,  he  took  part  in  1858  in  an  expedition 
of  General  Lander  in  the  Rocky  Mountains,  and  these  wild 
regions  of  the  West  gave  him  henceforth  the  material  for  his 
pictures.  Whole  mountain  chains  stretch  out  like  a  panorama, 
and  deep  mountain  lakes,  and  wild  masses  of  shattered  cliff, 
and  headlong  waterfalls  and  silent  forests.  Only  a  trapper, 
a  cowboy,  or  an  Indian  riding  bareback  after  buffalo  gives 
occasional  animation  to  the  desolate  wilderness.  Matters  of 
such  ethnographical  interest  met  with  approval  in  Europe 
also,  and  quite  naturally.  At  the  time  when  Gude  represented 
Norway,  his  native  land,  for  the  benefit  of  the  European 
public,  Bierstadt  put  into  the  market  the  boundless  American 
prairies  with  their  herds  of  buffalo,  the  defiant,  gigantic  forms 
of  the  mountain  cliffs,  and  the  valleys  of  California— pictures 
which  united  geographical  accuracy  with  the  effort  to  compass 
-dazzling  meteorological  effects.  John  B.  Bristol  and  Frederick 
Edward  Church  followed  a  similar  course,  representing  with 
strong  effects  of  light  or  mere  photographic  exactness  views  of 
Chimborazo,  of  tropical  moonlight  in  Mexico,  of  the  thundering 
falls  of  Niagara,  and  of  the  huge  mountain  masses  of  the  West. 
The  Alps  were  also  popular,  and  the  rich  fields  of  Italy. 
J,  F,  Kensett,  who  is  said  to  have  had  a  fine  feeling  for  the 
poetry  of  colour  and  to  have  painted  admirably  the  lovely  shores 
•of  the  mountain  lakes  in  America,  enjoys  the  fame  of  being  the 
best  master  of  technique,  while  Sanford  R,  Gifford.^n  American 
Hildebrandt,  who  glorified  all  the  phenomena  of  light  in  America, 
Italy,  and  the  East,  is  reputed  to  be  the  most  many-sided  of  this 
group.  Amongst  other  landscapists  of  the  sixties  George  Loring 
Brown,  a  sort  of  American  Claude,  Worthington  Whitredge  of 
Ohio,  a  pupil  of  Achenbach,  John  W,  Casilear,  Albert  Bellows, 
Richard  W,  Hubbard,   W.  T,  Richards,  F.  Cropsey,  Edward  Gay, 


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Amtrican  Art  Btvinv,] 

Hunt:   "Sheep  in  a  Meadow." 


and  IV.  Stanley  Haseltine 
may  be  mentioned ;  but 
it  is  impossible  for  one 
who  is  not  an  American 
to  judge  of  their  work. 
In  general  the  career  of 
American  landscape  seems 
to  have  been  that,  under 
the  influence  of  European 
paysage  intime^  artists 
gradually  came  to  lay  less 
weight  upon  mere  subject, 
and  aimed  at  producing 
an  effect  by  purely  artistic 
means.  Gracious  studies 
of  light,  and  intimate  views 
of  forest  paths,  and  distant 
huts  and  meadowland,  took 
the  place  of  pompous  dra-^ 
matic  efforts,  wild  mountain  landscapes,  and  glaring  fireworks, 
A  knowledge  of  the  English  water-colour  artists  De  Wint  and 
Cox  was  communicated  by  Jafnes  Fairman,  who  was  by  birth  a 
Scot,  while  the  three  brothers  William^  Peter^  and  Thomas  Morgan 
have  been  manifestly  influenced  by  Turner  in  their  strong  sense 
of  the  effect  of  light.  A  couple  of  Dutch  emigrants,  Albert 
van  Beest  and  F,  de  Haas^  painted  the  first  sea-pieces,  and  were 
followed  by  Harry  Chase,  who  had  gone  to  Holland  in  1862 
to  study  under  Kruseman  van  Elten  and  Mesdag.  These  were 
no  longer  scenes  with  a  dramatic  intention — ^ships  wrecked  in  a 
storm  upon  the  cliffs  or  labouring  against  high-running  waves — 
such  as  C.  Petersen,  W.  E.  Norton,  and  A.  T  Bricher  had  a  pre- 
dilection for  painting.  On  the  contrary,  they  were  quiet 
representations  of  the  simple  poetry  of  the  sea.  James  M.  Hart 
and  Hamilton  Hamilton,  under  the  influence  of  the  Fontainebieau 
school,  turned  to  the  portrayal  of  the  American  forests,  resplendent 
in  red  and  yellow  foliage,  and  of  animals  lying  on  the  rich 
meadows.     The  most  important  of  these  men  was  William  Morris 


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Niw  York:  AppMon,} 

Mosler:   "The  Prodigal  Son." 


//««/,  who  from  1846 
had  been  for  some  time 
a  sculptor  in  Diisseldorf, 
and  had  undergone  a 
long  apprenticeship  under 
Couture  in  Paris  and 
Millet  in  Barbizon  before 
he  returned  to  settle 
down  in  Boston.  In 
particular  he  has  painted 
certain  pieces  with  sheep 
which  approach  Charles 
Jacque  in  delicacy. 

Such  essentially  was 
the  result  of  the  career 
of  American  art  up  to 
i860.  America  had  in- 
•dividual  painters,  but  no 
formed  school.  But  the  ambition  to  stand  on  a  level  with  other 
nations  was  gaining  ground,  and  to  do  this  it  was  necessary  to 
5tudy  systematically  abroad.  Earlier  artists  had  only  left  America 
■on  brief  trips  which  left  no  permanent  impressions;  the  next 
generation  made  itself  at  home  all  over  Europe.  Diisseldorf, 
to  which  Leutze  and  Bierstadt  had  directed  attention,  was  no 
longer  even  thought  of  as  a  training-school.  As  for  Munich,  it 
wavered  indecisively  between  Kaulbach  and  Piloty.  But  Paris 
enjoyed  all  the  greater  celebrity.  Here,  under  G6r6me,  Lemuel 
Everett  Wilwarth^  who  was  a  teacher  of  the  New  York  School 
■of  Art,  had  already  gained  the  principles  of  knowledge  with 
which  he  impressed  his  pupils.  Hence  had  come  Francois  Regis 
Gignoux  and  Asher  Brown-Durand^  two  French  landscapists  who 
made  a  great  sensation  in  New  York  during  the  sixties.  So 
Paris  became  for  the  American  generation  of  i860  what  it  had 
teen  for  the  Germans  of  1850.  And,  treating  the  Parisian 
Americans  alone,  it  would  be  easy  to  write  a  short  history  of 
French  art,  for  they  distinctly  reflect  the  French  methods  of 
various  epochs. 


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When  the  first  Americans  came  to  Paris  the  new  seeds  planted 
by  Courbet  and  the  Fontainebleau  landscapists  had  not  yet  forced 
their  way  to  the  surface.  The  scholastic  and  externally  brilliant 
painting  of  Couture  was  the  centre  of  interest.  Bouguereau  had 
achieved  his  earliest  successes,  and  the  cold  porcelain  style  of 
G6r6me  was  an  object  of  admiration.  And  there  was  also  the 
discreetly  chastened  peasant- painting  of  Breton,  whose  "Return 
of  the  Reapers"  had  placed  him  in  1853  in  the  front  rank  of 
French  genre  painters.  To  these  masters  the  first  Americans 
who  came  to  study  in  Paris  most  naturally  turned. 

The  old  genre  painting  found  its  representative  in  Henry 
Mosler^  who  was  born  in  1840  in  New  York.  His  most  lasting 
impressions  he  received  in  the  years  when  Knau$  made  his  suc- 
cesses in  Paris,  and  when  Breton  came  forward  with  his  earliest 
pictures  of  peasant  life.  Mosler's  works — for  example,  "The 
Tinker,"  "The  Harvest  Festival,"  "The  Last  Moments,"  and 
"  The  Prodigal  Son  " — are  good  genre  pictures,  which  might  be 
ascribed  to  Vautier  or  Bokelmann,  or  one  of  the  French  painters 
of  the  village  tale,  say  Brion,  Marchal,  or  Breton.  . 
.  ,  Bouguereau's  scented  Neo-Classicism  with  a  tendency  to  be 
feebly  fanciful  had  its  satellite  in  Carl  Gutherz^  a  Swiss  by 
birth,  who  had  come  to  Paris  as  a  boy  in  185 1.  One  of  his 
principal  pictures,  which  was  painted  in  1888,  was  called  "Lux 
Incarnationis."  From  the  manger  in  Bethlehem  there  shone  a 
beaming  light.  The  air  was  filled  with  heavenly  squadrons,, 
spreading  throughout  space  like  gleaming  and  hovering  clouds. 
In  the  foreground  beautiful,  slender  young  angels,  with  many- 
coloured  wings,  issued  from  the  glittering  throng,  with  golden 
aureoles  crowning  their  young  heads.  There  were  nude  little 
boy  *  angels  also,  following  them  and  scattering  the  flowers  of 
heaven,  which  turned  to  rosy  clouds.  All  these  angels,  however, 
were  modernized  French  Cinquecento  angels ;  they  were  feeble 
and  mawkish  every  one  of  them,  and  suggested  a  monotonous 
atmosphere  of  perfume.  "  Ecce  Homo,"  "  Sappho,"  "  The  Temp- 
tation of  St.  Anthony,"  "The  Golden  Legend,"  and  "The 
Midsummer  Night's  Dream"  are  titles  of  other  pictures  of  his 
which  are  as  motley  as  they  are  feeble. 


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New  yon;  Appieion.] 


Bridgman  :   "  In  the  Harem." 


When  translated  into  American,  G6r6me  means  Frederick 
A,  Bridg?nan.  From  1863  to  1866  he  was  steel -engraver  to 
an  American  company  for  making  banknotes,  and  thus  well 
prepared  when  he  came  to  Gerdme,  the  hard  Classicist,  whom 
he  resolutely  followed  to  the  East  He  trod  the  soil  of  Africa 
for  the  first  time  in  1872,  travelled  through  Algiers  and  Egypt> 
and  then  became  the  painter  of  these  regions — and  not  alone 
of  their  present  populations,  but  of  their  classical  past  as  well. 
His  "Burial  of  a  Mummy"  won  the  gold  medal  at  the  Paris 
World  Exhibition  of  1878,  and  in  1881  he  was  able  to  bring 
together  three  hundred  and  thirty  pictures  of  the  East  at  an 
exhibition  in  New  York.  Under  G^rdme  Bridgman  acquired 
great  dexterity,  learning  from  him  all  that  was  to  be  learnt ;  he 
is  indeed  a  little  more  flexible  than  his  teacher,  though  at 
bottom  a  hard  Classicist  also.  White  draperies,  dark  skin  tints, 
shining  marble  and  keen  blue  atmosphere,  ethnographical  accuracy 
and  a  taste  for  anecdote,  are  the  leading  characteristics  of  his 
pictures.  He  does  not  fail  to  specify  that  his  negro  festival,  for 
example,  takes  place  "In  Blidah;"  and  when  he  shows  a  beauty 


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Munich  :  Han/stdngl.} 


Weeks:   "The  Last  Journey." 


of  the  harem  fallen  upon  by  a  sensual  assassin  in  the  series 
called  "The  Sacrifice  of  Virtue,"  he  pays  tribute  to  G6r6me's 
delight  in  executioners.  His  white,  cold  porcelain  pictures  are, 
like  those  of  G6r6me,  judiciously  composed,  deftly  carried  out, 
and  exceedingly  pretty  in  detail,  but  they  are  hard  and  motley, 
paltry  and  inexpressive  of  temperament 

After  working  under  G6r6me,  Edwin  Lord  Weeks  (born  in 
Boston  in  1849)  penetrated  yet  further  into  the  East  The 
earliest  pictures  which  he  sent  to  the  Paris  Salon  represented 
scenes  from  remote  parts  of  Morocco.  With  caravans  organized 
by  himself  he  pressed  into  the  hidden  interior  of  this  empire  to 
paint  the  strange  reality.  Not  to  become  monotonous,  he  then 
passed  to  India,  which  he  explored  in  all  directions,  finding 
that  scenery,  architecture,  and  the  ways  of  men  provided  him 
with  a  yet  greater  wealth  of  materials.  With  peculiar  delight 
he  lingered  in  the  sacred  city  of  Benares,  on  the  banks  of  the 
Ganges,  where  pagoda  follows  pagoda  and  mosque  follows 
mosque,  and  the  steam  of  the  funeral  piles  where  the  corpses 
of  devout    Hindoos    are    burning    mounts    into    the    air.      The 


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iBrauH  photo. 
Stewart:  "The  Hunt  Ball." 

{By  pgrmisaion  of  Messrs.  Ad.  Braun  <S*  Co.,  tht  owners  of  th§  copyright.) 

Streets  swarm  with  figures  clad  in  white  and  with  white 
turbans,  and  protected  from  the  rays  of  the  sun  by  huge  and 
gaudy  umbrellas.  Brown  and  half-naked  men  and  women 
occupied  in  washing  clothes  squat  upon  the  bank  ;  and  slender 
dark-skinned  girls  with  fans  of  Indian  palm  walk  along  past 
dazzling  marble  palaces.  In  his  studies  from  Hindostan  Weeks 
has  portrayed  with  great  knowledge  of  Indian  nature  the 
pictorial  and  grotesque  features  of  the  Hindoos,  and  the 
splendour  of  burning  sunlight  shed  over  all  their  doings.  The 
intense  white  tropical  sun  pours  down  upon  the  white  marble 
temples,  gleams  upon  the  variegated  silken  costumes,  broods 
upon  the  brown  skin  of  the  people,  glitters  upon  the  tails  of 
peacocks  and  the  gold-embroidered  hangings  of  the  elephants. 
And  it  is  only  Verestchagin's  Oriental  pictures  which  reach 
such  a  dazzling  tropical  effect. 

A  third  pupil  of  G^rdme,  Harry  Humphrey  Moore,  turned  to 
Japan,  though  before  doing  so  he  went  through  a  second 
course  of  apprenticeship,  for  he  worked  under  Fortuny  in  Rome. 
The  latter  gave  him  the  pungency  and  sparkle  of  his  painting, 
and   as,   some    dozen    years   ago,  the    bold,  capricious   pictures 


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of  the  Spaniard  were  deemed  worth  their  weight  in  gold,  the 
refined  Japanese  studies  of  Moore,  glittering  in  red  and  yellow, 
are  at  present  much  sought  after  in  America. 

Julius  L.  Stewart,  a  Parisian  from  Philadelphia,  and  the 
son  of  an  American  collector  who  possesses  the  best  pictures 
of  Fortuny,  reversed  the  course  of  Moore — that  is  to  say,  he 
had  been  a  pupil  of  Fortuny's  pupil  Zamacois  before  he  placed 
himself  under  G6r6me — and  the  lively  variety  of  colour  and 
spirited  improvization  of  his  works  bear  witness  to  his  artistic 
descent.  In  result  of  Fortuny 's  influence,  Stewart  has  become  a 
thorough  man  of  the  world,  a  painter  of  society,  and  one  of  capti- 
vating grace,  whose  "  Hunt  Ball "  and  "  Five-O'Clock  Tea "  were 
amongst  the  most  refined  pictures  of  the  Paris  Exhibition  of  1889. 

Straitened  by  no  old  artistic  traditions,  the  Americans 
had  not  any  occasion  to  do  homage  to  conservative  opinions 
in  their  painting.  The  words  Classicism  and  Naturalism  had 
no  meaning  for  them.  They  merely  repaired  to  the  studios 
where  they  believed  themselves  able  to  learn  most.  Having 
given  a  preference  in  the  beginning  to  academicians  of  the 
Ecole  des  Beaux  Arts,  they  were  the  first  who  afterwards  went 
with  the  new  movement  in  Paris  which  set  in  the  direction  of 
landscape  and  Naturalism.  Even  those  who  studied  under 
Bonnat  and  Carolus  Duran  in  the  beginning  of  the  seventies 
did  not  remain  faithful  to  the  method  of  their  teachers,  but 
with  an  astonishing  instinct  found  out  the  masters  to  whom  the 
future  belonged.  Counsel  was  sought  from  Manet  and  Monet, 
Bastien-Lepage  and  Dagnan-Bouveret,  Millet  and  Cazin,  in  turn. 
In  many  of  these  Americans  it  is  only  their  particular  mitier  that 
is  interesting,  what  the  Parisians  call  faire  les  Rousseau,  /aire 
les  Carriere,  faire  les  Bastien.  And  in  all  one  recognizes  certain 
influences,  whether  they  follow  the  landscapists  of  1830,  move 
in  the  train  of  Puvis  de  Chavannes  or  Besnard,  or  infest  the 
neighbourhood  of  Giverny  to  study  the  bold  atmospheric  vibra- 
tions of  Claude  Monet.  But  as  they  never  follow  old-fashioned 
models,  but  invariably  the  most  modern,  they  are  characteristic, 
if  not  of  American,  at  all  events  of  the  most  novel  tendencies 
of  French  painting,  and  that  in  a  very  striking  way. 


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Nno  York  :  AppMon,} 


Pearce:   "The  Shepherdess/ 
{By  ptrmissioH  of  th§  Artist.) 


Charles  Sprague  Pearce  of  Boston,  who  came  to  Bonnat 
in  1873,  when  he  was  two-and-twenty,  and  has  since  lived 
on  the  Seine  as  one  of  the  finest  artists  of  the  American 
colony,  has  a  preference  for  Picardy.  His  shepherdesses, 
peasant  girls,  and  women  chopping  wood  or  minding  their 
herds,  are  the  works  of  a  man  who  acquired  a  forcible 
technique  under  Bonnat  and  studied  Bastien-Lepage  with  under- 
standing. 

Then  there  is  William  J,  Dannat^  a  broad  painter,  who 
began  his  studies  in  Munich,  and  then  went  to  Munkacsy  in 
Paris.  Now  he  is  a  man  upwards  of  forty,  working  as  teacher 
at  the  Ecole  des  Beaux  Arts,  and  notable  as  a  spirited  observer 
of  the  pictorial  peculiarities  of  Spain.  He  is  a  dandy  of  art 
for  whom  conventional  beauty  is  a  thing  utterly  thrashed  out, 
a  juggler  of  the  brush  who  can  do  whatever  he  likes,  and  there- 
fore likes  to  show  all  that  he  can  do.  His  earliest  pictures — 
"  A  Quartette,"  "  A  Sacristy  in  Arragon,"  and  so  forth — obviously 


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Pans:  BoiU8od-Valadon,\ 


Dannat  :  "  Spanish  Women." 
{By  p€rmiBsum  of  tfu  Ariiit,) 


owe  their  existence  to  similar  works  of  Manet  At  present 
Degas  is  his  ideal,  and  the  study  of  artificial  light  his  field  of 
experiment  The  representation  of  a  Spanish  ca//  chantant 
made  him  the  enfant  terrible  of  the  Munich  Exhibition  in  1892. 
Six  rouged  and  squalling  Spanish  girls,  clattering  castanets, 
and  each  more  hideous  than  the  other,  are  sitting  upon  a  bench 
s^ainst  a  light  grey  background.  The  electric  light  falling 
full  upon  them  makes  a  caricature  of  every  colour,  and  plays 
upon  their  faces  in  violet,  pale  red,  green,  and  blue  reflections. 
The  whole  thing  looked  like  an  audacious  tavern  sign,  and  it 
was  only  noticed  by  those  who  were  not  disposed  to  lose  their 
temper  that  the  scene  had  been  observed  with  the  ready  instinct 
of  a  Japanese,  and  painted  alia  prima  with  a  sureness  which 
only  few  living  artists  could  command. 

Alexander  Harrison  has  made  a  close  study  of  Besnard  and 
Cazin.  He  has  not  painted  much,  but  every  one  of  his  pictures 
was  a  palpable  hit  The  earliest  and  most  unassuming,  a  small 
landscape,  discreet  and  delicate  in  its  effect,  displayed  a  stream- 


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Pmris:  Batssod-ValadonJ] 


Harrison:  "In  Arcady." 


let  and  trees,  in  the  midst  of  which  a  gap  allowed  the  sight  of 
a  peaceful  landscape  in  the  light  of  evening.  The  second, 
"In  Arcady,"  was  one  of  the  finest  studies  of  light  which  have 
been  painted  since  Manet.  The  manner  in  which  the  sunlight 
fell  upon  the  high  grass  and  slender  trees,  its  rays  gliding  over 
branch  and  shrub,  touching  the  green  blades  like  shining  gold, 
and  glancing  over  the  nude  bodies  of  fair  women — herje  over  a 
hand,  here  over  a  shoulder,  and  here  again  over  the  bosom — was 
painted  with  such  virtuosity,  felt  with  such  poetry,  and  so  free 
from  all  the  heaviness  of  earth  that  one  hardly  had  the  sense 
of  looking  at  a  picture  at  all.  The  luminous  painting  of  Besnard 
had  here  reached  its  final  expression,  and  the  summit  of  classic 
finish  was  surmounted.  His  third  picture  was  called  "  The  Wave." 
To  seize  such  phenomena  of  nature  in  their  completeness — things 
so  fickle  and  so  hard  to  arrest  in  their  mutability — had  been 
the  chief  study  of  French  painters  since  Manet  When  Harrison 
exhibited  his  "  Wave,"  sea-pieces  by  Duez,  Roll,  and  Victor  Binet 
were  also  in  existence  ;  but  Harrison's  "  Wave "  was  the  best 
of  them  all.     The   rendering   of  water,  the  crystal  transparency 


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I^ew  iork:  Apple  ton,] 


Gay:   "The  Sewing-School." 


of  the  billows  with  their  changing  light,  was  in  this  case  so 
extraordinarily  faithful  that  one  was  tempted  to  declare  that 
the  water  of  the  others  was  absolutely  solid,  compared  with 
this  elemental  essence  of  moisture.  If  one  looked  long  at  this 
heaving  and  subsiding  tide,  this  foaming  revel  of  waves,  one 
almost  felt  a  sort  of  giddiness,  and  fancied  one's  self  riding 
upon  the  high-running  crests  of  the  billows  over  the  bottomless 
sea.  Air  and  the  motion  of  waves  were,  during  the  following 
years,  the  chief  objects  of  Harrison's  study.  In  his  picture  of 
1892  a  greenish-yellow  evening  sky  arched  over  a  motionless 
stretch  of  green-yellow  sea,  where  nude  women  were  bathing 
in  the  full  play  of  green-yellow  reflections.  The  entire  picture 
was  almost  one  monotony  of  greenish  yellow  in  its  discreetly 
wavering  hues ;  but  with  what  delicacy  were  these  varieties  of 
tone  differentiated  !  What  play  there  was  of  light !  how  the 
sea  flashed  and  glittered !  and  with  what  a  bloom  the  bodies 
of  the  women  rose  against  the  air !  Evening  lay  dreamy  and 
darkling  over  a  still  woodland  lake  in   his   picture  of  1893.     A 


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funs:  uvunsod'yaiadon.^ 


Melchers:   "The  Sermon.** 


skiff,  with  the  naked  figure  ot  a  young  man  in  it,  sailed  in  this 
far-off  solitude.  The  effect  was  large  and  solemn,  unostentatious 
and  yet  great. 

A  pupil  of  Bonnat,  Walter  Gay  of  Boston,  seems  to  feel 
specially  at  home  amongst  the  peasants  of  the  west  of  France, 
and,  with  that  rather  tiresome  frankness  of  Northern  painters — a 
frankness  which  fails  to  express  the  temperament  of  the  artist 
— he  studies  the  manners  of  the  people  where  they  are  primitive 
and  naive.  Through  large  windows  hung  with  thin  curtains 
the  bright  daylight  falls  into  the  clean  rooms  of  peasants, 
gleaming  on  the  boards  of  the  floor,  the  shining  tops  of  the 
tables,  and  the  white  caps  of  the  women,  who  sit  at  their 
work  sewing ;  it  is  the  familiar  problem  of  light  for  which 
Liebermann,  Kuehl,  and  Uhde  have  also  a  predilection. 
Eugene  Vail^  who  was  influenced  by  Mesdag  and  De  Nittis, 
shrouds  his  Dutch  sea-pieces  and  pictures  of  the  port  of 
London  in  a  heavy,  melancholy  mist.  Walter  MacEwen  of 
Chicago   paints   interiors   with  delicate  light,  moist  sea  air,  and 


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Aig^^g            ~% 

-^^^^■^ 

..     1 

f^  -J  .  ■^tjJ^T^^^pjh^^                                        ■ 

^^^^^^H^P^^^^K   *■     ^^^^^^^^^^H 

HM^SMfc^  Y     N^ggjd 

n      f 

^    3L 

.'Sfift^vycjti!', 

:L^i 

(,*iA^'d 

*fm$i. 

i»M^'tefiiii 

?   ^J*  "t-     " 

)a 

*       '^tV  «i  > 

*»*?     ^'^ 

*r 

.^■,':^^: 

.    '.'^-  ■ 

r        - 

Paris  ;  Boussod-  ValadoM.'\ 


Hitchcock:   "Maternity.*' 


monotonous  dunes  with  labourers  returning  in  the  evening  from 
their  day's  work. 

Before  migrating  to  Paris  both  of  these  painters  had  long 
worked  in  Holland,  whither  Liebermann  had  shown  the  way 
at  the  close  of  the  seventies,  and  where  Gari  Melchers  and 
George  Hitchcock  are  occupied  at  the  present  time. 

Gari  Melchers^  once  a  pupil  of  the  Classicists  Boulanger  and 
Lefebure,  has  something  thoroughly  Dutch  in  his  temperament, 
as  indeed  his  name  would  indicate,  only  he  lacks  the  peculiar 
tenderness  of  the  Dutch.  Like  the  Dutch  amongst  whom  he 
lives,  he  paints  scenes  from  the  life  of  peasants  and  fishermen 
in  Holland,  and  has  discovered  a  peculiarly  congenial  field  of 
study  in  the  plain,  whitewashed  village  churches  of  the  country. 
His  first  effort  of  this  kind,  "The  Sermon"  of  1886,  was 
painted  in  a  very  robust  style,  and  seen  with  sincerity.  A  few 
peasant  women,  in  their  picturesque  costume,  are  sitting  piously 
following  the   words  of  the   preacher,   whom   one   does  not  see,. 


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[Bassano  photo. 
George  Hitchcock. 


though  the  expression  of  the 
faces  IS  painted  so  convincingly 
that  one  seems  to  hear  him.  Gari 
Melchers  is,  indeed,  a  sincere  and 
quiiet  observer,  and  approaches 
nature  with  energy,  though  he 
looks  into  the  world  with  the 
cold  objectivity  of  a  camera. 
His  figures  are  heavy  and 
motionless,  his  pictures  arid  and 
wanting  in  poetry ;  they  are  all 
flooded  with  the  same  hard 
Northern  daylight.  In  the  pre- 
sence of  his  picture  "  The  Lord's 
Supper,"  painted,  as  it  is,  in  such 
a  staid  and  matter-of-fact  style, 
one  almost  feels  compassion  for  people  whose  religion  is  so 
entirely  without  any  sort  of  mystical  grace.  The  church  itselt 
IS  bald  and  monotonous ;  and  the  dull  blue,  green,  and  grey 
colours  of  the  dresses,  which  give  the  picture  its  peculiarly 
chill  and  arid  tone,  are  in  keeping  with  the  church. 

George  Hitchcock^  who  also  lives  in  Egmond,  unites  to  the 
Dutch  phlegm  a  certain  delicate,  English  Preraphaelite  nuance. 
One  knows  the  Dutch  spring,  when,  through  the  famous  culture 
of  flowers,  towns  like  Haarlem  and  Egmond  are  surrounded  with 
a  dazzling,  variegated  carpet  of  tulips,  dark  and  bright  red,  violet 
and  sky-blue,  white  and  bordered  with  yellow,  when  the  air  is 
filled  with  intoxicating  perfume  and  the  nightingales  warble 
in  the  green  woods.  A  picture  like  this,  an  actual  picture 
entitled  "Tulip  Growing,"  was  the  foundation  of  Hitchcock's 
reputation  in  the  Salon  of  1885.  In  one  of  his  later  works 
a  field  of  white  lilies  stretched  along  beside  a  green  meadow. 
The  flowers  had  shot  up  high  and  almost  reached  to  the 
girdle  of  the  young  country  girl  who  moved,  grave  and 
thoughtful,  through  the  idyllic  landscape.  A  faint  circkt  of 
beams  hovered  above  her  head ;  it  was  Mary  awaiting  the 
joyous  tidings  of  the  angel.  The  dunes,  too,  with  their  tall 
vou  in.  31 


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Magwsint  of  Art.  ^ 

Sargent:   "A  Venetian  Street-Scene." 
(J5y  ptrmisaion  of  the  Artist.) 


grey  -  green  grass^ 
and  their  damp  and 
melancholy  atmo- 
sphere, he  had  a 
delight  in  painting. 
Here  stands  a  shep- 
herdess —  one  with 
the  name  of  Jeanne 
d'Arc  —  lost  in 
thought  beside  her 
flock,  and  here 
young  peasant 
wives,  accompanied 
by  their  children,, 
wend  their  way  home  from  their  work  in  the  fields. 

While  these  Americans  at  work  in  Holland  acquire  a  certain 
provincial  character,  a  cordial  and  phlegmatic  trait,  in  harmony 
with  their  place  of  resort,  those  in  London  are  accomplished 
men  of  the  world,  who  have  travelled  much  and  are  graceful, 
subtile,  and  scintillating.  In  Paris  they  have  absorbed  every- 
thing that  is  to  be  learnt  there,  and  they  combine  with  their 
Parisian  ckic  a  fragrant  Anglo-Saxon  aroma. 

At  their  head  stands  John  Singer  Sargent^  one  of  the  most 
dazzling  men  of  talent  in  the  present  day.  Born  in  Florence 
in  1856,  Sargent  is  still  a  young  man.  In  Florence  and  in 
France  he  was  brought  up  arhid  brilliant  surroundings,  and 
thus  acquired  as  a  boy  what  is  wanting  to  many  painters 
throughout  their  whole  lives — refined  and  exquisite  taste.  Having 
copied  portraits  after  the  old  Venetians,  he  began  to  study 
under  Carolus  Duran,  and  he  is  now  what  Carolus  Duran  once 
was — a  painter  of  the  most  mundane  elegance.  Indeed,  com- 
pared with  Sargent's  women,  those  of  Duran  are  like  village 
belles.  Psychological  analysis  of  character,  it  is  true,  is  a  thing 
as  alien  to  him  as  it  was  to  his  teacher ;  but  how  thoroughly 
successful  he  is  in  reproducing  the  fragrant  odeur  de  fevime^. 
and  in  catching  the  physiognomy,  fashion,  gesture,  tone, 
and  spirit  of  a   dignified   aristocracy!     How  vividly  his   women 


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Mag(tzin€  of  Art.'\ 

Sargent:  Portrait  of  Himself. 
{By  pgrmiasioH  of  tht  Artist.) 


Stand  out  in  their  exquisitely 
tasteful  dresses  !  No  one  has 
painted  those  professional 
beauties  who  consecrate  every- 
thing to  self-adoration  with  a 
more  complete  understanding 
of  what  he  was  about.  No 
one  is  so  triumphant  in  ar- 
resting the  haughty  reserve  of 
a  woman,  the  delicate  com- 
plexion of  a  girl,  a  flitting 
smile,  an  ironical  or  timid 
glance,  a  mien,  a  turn  of  the 
head,  or  a  tremor  of  the  lips. 
No  one  has  such  a  compre- 
hension of  the  eloquent  grace 
of  delicate,,  sensitive  hands  playing  with  a  fan  or  quietly  folded 
together.  He  is  the  painter  of  subtile  and  often  strange  and 
curious  beauty,  conscious  of  itself  and  displaying  its  charms  in 
the  best  light — a  fastidious  artist  of  exquisite  taste,  the  most 
refined  painter  of  feminine  portraits  of  the  present  day.  His 
portrait  of  Mrs.  Boit  made  an  impression  of  power  like  a 
Velasquez,  and  those  of  Mrs.  Henry  White,  Mrs.  Comyns  Carr,. 
and  the  group  of  the  Misses  Vickers,  one  of  very  great  dis- 
tinction. In  the  year  1887  he  painted  the  portrait  of  Mrs. 
Playfair,  a  lady  with  a  majestic  figure,  standing  in  yellowish- 
white  silk  with  a  dark  green  mantle  in  front  of  a  white  and 
red  background  ;  that  of  Ellen  Terry  as  Lady  Macbeth  was 
painted  in   1890. 

But  the  smile  of  the  modern  sphinx  is  not  his  only  theme,, 
for  he  also  renders  the  grace  of  high-bred  children  ;  and  as  a 
painter  of  children  he  is  equalled  by  Renoir  alone.  The  four 
little  girls  playing  in  a  great  dark  hall  in  his  "Portrait  of  the 
Misses  F."  were  exquisite  indeed,  and  painted  with  a  veracity 
that  was  entirely  natve  and  novel ;  all  the  poses  were  natural,  all 
the  colours  subtile,  those  of  the  furniture,  the  great  Japanese 
vases,   the    bright    vaporous   dresses,   the   silk   stockings.      In    a 


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TTT 


Gum.  dts  Beaux- Arts.} 


Sargent:  "El  Jaleo." 
(By  permUtion  of  tht  ArtisU) 


picture  of  1891  a]  most  enchanting  young  girl,  seen  full-face,  sat 
bolt-upright  upon  a  plain  high  wooden  chair  in  front  of  dark 
wainscoting,  looking  dreamily  and  unsuspectingly  before  her,  out 
of  widely  opened  brown  eyes,  like  those  of  a  gazelle  ;  while  in 
the  charming  picture  "Carnation  Lily  Lily  Rose,"  which  now 
hangs  in  the  South  Kensington  Museum,  a  fine  effect  of  light  d  la 
Besnard  is  united  with  delicate  observation  of  child-life.  The 
scene  takes  place  at  the  hour  of  dusk  in  a  pretty  garden  nook 
belonging  to  an  English  country  place.  Amid  green  leaves  and 
rosy  flowers  growing  thickly,  two  little  girls,  with  the  gravest 
faces  in  the  world,  are  intent  on  lighting  great  Japanese  lanterns, 
the  light  of  which  struggles  with  the  twilight,  casting  tremulous 
reddish  beams  upon  the  foliage  and  the  children's  dresses. 

Sargent  is  French  in  his  entire  manner,  and,  above  every- 
thing, a  painter  for  painters.  Of  poetry  and  inward  absorption 
he  has  no  trace.  Like  Besnard,  he  is  a  subtile  virtuoso,  though 
undoubtedly  an  artist  who  challenges  the  admiration  of  his 
fellows,  while  the  great  public  stand  in  perplexity  before  his 
pictures.      His   mitier  interests   him,  and   therefore  he   interests 


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others.  His  pic- 
tures, moreover, 
always  show  the 
work  of  the  hand. 
Every  stroke  can  be 
followed.  Every- 
thing lives  and 
breathes  and  moves 
and  trembles. 
Some  scenes  from 
Venice  and  from 
Spanish  cafh  chan- 
tantSy  perhaps,  show 
the  full  degree  of 
his  ability.  Need- 
less to  state  he  has 
not  represented  the 
Grand  Canal  nor 
the  Palace  of  St 
Mark,  for  anything 
so  banal  and  thread- 
bare would  hardly 
suit  his  taste.  On 
the  contrary,  his 
views  from  Venice 
only  contain  scenes 
from     dark     holes 

and  corners  of  the  town,  or  from  low  halls  where  a  sunbeam  is 
coyly  falling.  Or  a  pair  of  girls,  wrapped  in  dirty  greenish-yellow 
shawls,  are  flitting  through  the  streets  in  their  little  wooden 
shoes  like  lizards.  In  1882  he  painted  a  gipsy  dance  with  a 
gallant  maestria  which  would  have  delighted  Goya.  Degas 
alone  would  have  rendered  the  movement  of  the  dancing-girl, 
in  all  her  melting  lines,  with  such  astonishing  sureness  of  hand, 
and  Manet  alone  would  have  rendered  the  guitarrero  with  so 
much  naturalness.  One  of  his  later  masterpieces,  "  Carmencita," 
a  portrait  of  the  Spanish  dancer,  dressed  in  orange  and  advancing 


Sargent  :  "  Carhencita.' 


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478  MODERN  PAINTING 

to  the  footlights  with  her  hand  resting  upon  her  hip,  has  come 
into  the  possession  of  the  Muste  Luxembourg. 

Together  with  Sargent  amongst  the  London  Americans,  Henry 
Muhmiann  has  specially  come  to  the  front  at  recent  exhibitions. 
Trained  in  Munich,  he  now  works  by  preference  in  Hastings, 
and  amid  the  dark  cliffs  of  this  old  seaside  town  he  has  painted 
landscapes  of  a  dim,  melancholy,  and  earnest  depth.  With 
their  fine  instinct  for  novelty,  their  presage  of  the  tendency  of 
the  future,  the  Americans  are  well  able  to  estimate  the  value 
of  European  schools  of  art.  For  this  reason  they  seek  neither 
Berlin  nor  Diisseldorf  amongst  German  centres  of  art,  but 
only  Munich,  nor  did  they  come  even  here  until  Munich  had 
•decisively  joined  in  the  great  modern  movement 

In  Munich  Carl  Marr  has  acquired  the  reputation  of  being 
an  artist  of  uncommon  soundness.  He  cannot  be  called  par- 
ticularly spirited  nor  particularly  intimate  in  feeling ;  and  many 
young  painters  shake  their  heads  with  indifference  when  they 
behold  his  pictures — wearisome  and  sound,  sound  and  wearisome. 
Marr  is  no  stormy  revolutionary;  he  is  a  worker,  a  born 
professor  for  an  academy,  whose  talent  is  made  up  of  the 
elements  of  will,  work,  study,  and  patience.  He  is  possessed 
of  an  arid  precision,  to  which  it  is  not  difficult  to  do  justice, 
and  through  this  quiet,  sure-footed  Naturalism,  free  from  all 
extravagances,  he  has  won  many  admirers — not  indeed  amongst 
epicures,  but  at  any  rate  amongst  the  conservatives  in  art 

His  large  "  Procession  of  Flagellants,"  by  which  he  introduced 
himself  to  the  artistic  world  in  1889,  was  a  good,  serious,  historical 
picture,  which  had  no  false  vehemence.  One  could  not  go 
into  great  raptures  at  seeing  a  bright  historical  painting  taking 
the  place  of  one  which  was  brown,  but  it  was  impossible  not 
to  recognize  the  draughtsmanlike  qualities  and  the  courage 
and  endurance  requisite  for  illustrating  so  big  a  canvas.  His 
next  picture,  "Germany  in  1806,"  was  more  intimate  and  sensitive 
in  feeling :  in  subject,  indeed,  it  was  not  entirely  free  from  features 
savouring  of  German  genre  and  Die  Gartenlaube^  but  from  a 
technical  standpoint  it  had  interest,  since  it  bore  witness,  for 
the   first    time,   to  the   observation   of   twilight    in    an    interior, 


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AMERICA  479 

after  a  period  in  which  brightness  of  painting  had  been  insisted 
on  in  a  one-sided  fashion.  Even  in  his  "Summer  Day"  of 
1892  he  showed  that  he  had  the  art  of  producing  a  genre 
picture  intelligible  to  the  great  public  with  the  resources  of 
modern  plein-air  painting.  The  girls,  and  mothers  and  children, 
sitting  under  the  leaves  in  the  garden,  were  pretty  enough  to 
delight  the  Sunday  crowd  of  sightseers,  while  the  brilliancy 
of  the  sun  rippling  through  the  foliage,  and  the  motes  of  light 
playing  upon  the  ground  and  the  human  figures,  were  inter- 
preted with  consummate  ability.  In  fact  Marr  has  the  capacity 
of  satisfying  every  one.  His  pictures  attract  the  most  incompetent 
judges  because  they  tell  a  story,  and  yet  the  soundness  of 
their  technique  is  so  great  that  they  cannot  offend  the  most 
-exacting. 

Charles  Frederick  Ulrich^  who  was  born  in  New  York,  and 
afterwards  became  a  pupil  of  Lofftz  and  Lindenschmit,  has 
found  much  that  is  pretty  to  paint  in  Italy.  In  fact  he  takes  a 
place  in  the  group  represented  by  Ludwig  Pasini,  Zezzos,  Nono, 
Tito,  Cecil  van  Haanen,  Franz  Ruben,  Eugene  Blaas,  William 
Logsdail,  Henry  Woods,  and  others.  The  richly  coloured  city  of 
the  lagunes  is  his  domain — not  romantic  Venice,  but  the  Venice 
of  the  day,  with  its  narrow  ways  and  pretty  girls,  Venice  with 
its  glittering  effects  of  light  and  picturesque  figures  in  the  streets. 
Laundresses  and  women  making  bouquets  sit  laughing  and 
jesting  over  their  work — the  same  coquettish  girls  with  black  or 
red  hair,  pearly  white  teeth,  and  neat  little  slippers  who  move 
also  in  the  works  of  Tito.  What  distinguishes  Ulrich  from  the 
Italians  is  merely  that  he  loves  refinement  and  softness  in  making 
transitions,  mild  lustre  of  colour,  and  distinction  and  sobriety  in 
general  tone,  after  the  fashion  of  the  English  water-colour  artists, 
in  contradistinction  to  the  pyrotechnics  of  Fortuny. 

Mention  should  be  made  also  of  the  portraits  and  unpre- 
tentious sketches  from  street-life  in  Munich  by  Robert  Koehler 
of  Milwaukee,  and  of  good  landscapes  and  etchings  by  Sion 
Wenban.  Orrin  Peck  attracted  attention  in  1889  by  a  picture 
named  "From  Him,"  a  thoughtful  piece  of  Dusseldorfian  work 
Avith   modern   technique.      And   Hermann  Harhvich^   a   pupil  of 


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48o  MODERN  PAINTING 

Lofftz,  chiefly  finds  his  subjects  in  South  Tyrol  and  the  North 
of  Italy:  interiors  with  grandmothers  and  children,  laundresses 
upon  sunny  meadows,  or  winter  landscapes  with  cattle-dealers 
and  shivering  animals. 

True  it  is  that  all  these  painters  reveal  nothing  American.  They 
are,  indeed,  hardly  to  be  distinguished  from  their  French,  English, 
and  German  colleagues.  But  the  swiftness  and  ability  with  which 
America  came  to  support  herself  upon  European  crutches  in  the 
matter  of  technique  is  all  the  more  admirable.  All  these  men 
have  become  good  soldiers  in  the  armies  of  foreign  leaders.  They 
have  learnt  to  stand  firmly  on  their  feet  in  Europe,  and  that  in 
itself  is  a  great  achievement.  Even  as  late  as  the  year  1878- 
Mr.  G.  W.  Sheldon  was  able  to  write  in  an  article  upon  American 
art  published  in  Harper's  Magazine :  "  The  great  defect  of 
American  art — to  speak  in  the  spirit  of  self-examination  and 
soberness — is  ignorance.  American  artists,  with  a  few  conspicuous 
exceptions,  have  not  mastered  the  science  of  their  profession. 
They  did  not  learn  early  enough  how  to  draw ;  they  have  not 
practised  drawing  persistently  enough  or  long  enough.  .  .  .  They 
have  not  clear  ideas  of  what  art  is  and  of  what  art  demands." 

But  now  after  less  than  twenty  years  exactly  the  opposite  has 
come  to  pass.  What  is  striking  in  all  American  pictures  is  their 
eminent  technical  ability.  There  is  displayed  in  these  pictures 
a  strenuous  discipline  of  talent,  an  eff'ort  to  probe  the  subject  as 
artistically  as  possible,  a  thoroughness  seldom  equalled  even  by 
the  "  thoroughness  "  of  the  Germans.  And  technique  being  the 
basis  of  every  art,  the  groundwork  for  the  growth  of  a  specially 
American  school  has  been  thus  created. 

It  is,  of  course,  impossible  for  one  who  is  not  an  American 
to  make  for  himself  any  clear  sketch  of  transatlantic  art  But 
according  to  the  accounts  which  reach  us  from  the  United  States, 
a  powerful  artistic  movement,  expressing  itself  by  the  foundation 
of  numerous  galleries,  art  schools,  and  art  unions,  must  have 
passed  through  the  country  during  the  last  twenty  years.  In 
every  really  large  town  there  are  industrial  museums  and  picture 
galleries,  and  sometimes  these  are  of  great  importance ;  the 
modern  section  of  the  New  York  Metropolitan  Museum  of  Art, 


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AMERICA  481 

in  particular,  is  one  of  the  best  of  the  kind.  Academies  of  Art 
have  sprung  up  in  all  directions,  the  most  distinguished  being 
those  of  Boston,  New  York,  Newhaven,  and  Philadelphia,  beside 
which  there  are  comprehensive  private  collections.  Their  illus- 
trated magazines  are  supported  by  a  most  extensive  circle  of 
readers,  and  are  sometimes  periodicals  of  such  high  artistic 
character  that  Europe  has  nothing  similar  that  can  be  placed 
beside  them.  The  Century  and  Harper's  Magazine^  for  instance, 
count  amongst  their  illustrators  men  whose  names  are  held  in 
esteem  in  both  hemispheres,  such  as  Edwin  A,  Abbey ^  Charles  5. 
Reinhart^  Howard  Pyle^  Joseph  Pennell^  and  Alfred  Parsons.  More- 
over a  new  school  for  the  art  of  woodcut  engraving  has  come 
into  being,  with  Frederick  Jungling,  Closson,  and  Timothy  Cole 
at  its  head,  and  these  men  stand  to  their  European  colleagues  as 
a  spirited  etcher  to  a  neat  line-engraver  in  copper.  And  even  as 
regards  painting,  the  Paris  Exhibition  of  1889  and  the  Munich 
Exhibition  of  1892  bore  witness  that  an  individual  movement  was 
already  stirring  in  America,  and  that  American  art  was  no  longer 
an  appanage  of  European,  but  an  independent  growth,  an 
organism  which  had  set  itself  free  from  Europe.  In  the  Paris 
Exhibition  of  1855  the  Americans  had  no  section  to  themselves. 
In  1867,  it  is  true,  they  had  three  sides  of  a  small  inner  gallery, 
but  only  excited  interest  amongst  their  compatriots.  In  1878 
they  were  represented  by  a  larger  quantity  of  pictures  and  better 
quality.  But  in  1889  the  American  section  was  one  of  the  most 
admirable  in  the  World  Exhibition.  Not  only  were  there  painters 
who,  after  they  had  become  known  in  Europe,  had  continued  to 
work  energetically  according  to  the  principles  acquired  in  the  old 
world,  but  there  were  likewise  young  artists  who  had  completed 
their  schooling  across  the  ocean,  and  boldly  went  their  own  way, 
untouched  by  European  influences.  Moreover  older  artists  were 
discovered,  men  whose  relationship  to  our  own  schools  it  was  by 
no  means  easy  to  establish,  though  they  took  a  place  beside  the 
most  individual  masters  in  Europe. 

And  yet  one  is  not  brought  into  the  "  Wild  West "  by  these 
American  masters.  Hordes  of  Indians,  grazing  buffaloes,  burning 
prairies  and  virgin  forests,  gold-diggers,  fur-traders,  and  Roman- 


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482 


MODERN  PAINTING 


Ntw  York :  AppUion.^ 


Homer:   *'The  Negro  School/' 


ticism  of  the  **  Leather  Stocking  "  order  may  be  sought  in  their 
works  in  vain.  The  many-sided  IVinslow  Hovur^  the  painter  of 
Uncle  Tom's  Cabin,  is  striking  as  the  only  one  of  them  who 
represents  in  his  subjects  what  we  should  understand  as  peculiarly 
American.  He  took  an  interest  in  the  coloured  population,  and 
had  the  secret  of  kindling  an  interest  for  them  in  Europeans  also. 
His  negro  studies,  his  representations  of  the  land  and  the  people, 
his  pictures  of  the  American  soil  with  the  race  of  men  whose  home 
it  is,  are  often  rather  narve  in  painting,  but  they  are  honest  and 
sincere,  baptized  in  American  water.  He  was  a  vigorous  realist 
who  went  straight  to  the  mark  and  painted  his  open-air  scenes  in 
sunlight  fluently  from  nature.  Thus  he  was  the  first  energetic 
representative  of  open-air  painting  in  America. 

Moreover  Alfred  Kappes  has  sometimes  given  felicitous 
renderings  of  negro  life.  G,  Brushy  on  the  other  hand,  borrows 
his  subjects  from  the  life  of  the  Indians,  while  Robert  Blum 
paints    Japanese    street-scenes     full    of   sunlight    and     lustrous 


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AMERICA 


483 


Ntw  York:  AppUton.] 


Inness:  a  Landscape. 


colour.  For  the  rest,  American  art  is  a  rhuvi^  of  the  art  of 
Europe,  just  as  the  race  itself  is  a  medley  of  the  civilized 
peoples  of  the  old  world.  Of  the  peculiarity  of  life  in  the 
West  it  has  nothing  so  original  and  unexpected  to  reveal  as 
the  things  which  Mark  Twain  and  Bret  Harte  have  told  in 
literature.  Yet  it  is  an  exceedingly  tasteful  rhumiy  and  if 
America  still  counts  as  a  convenient  market  for  the  commercial 
wares  of  Europe,  this  does  not  mean  that  there  are  no  painters 
in  the  country,  but  merely  that  American  painters  are  too 
proud  to  satisfy  the  demands  of  picture-dealers.  This  reaction 
found  its  weightiest  expression  in  1878,  in  the  foundation  of 
the  Society  of  American  Artists,  the  first  article  in  whose 
statutes  was  that  they  did  not  accept  Cabanel,  Bouguereau, 
and  Meyer  of  Bremen  as  their  leaders,  but  Millet,  Corot,  and 
Rousseau.  The  founders  of  this  society  were  Walter  Shirlaw^ 
who  had  come  home  from  Munich,  George  Fuller,  who  had 
lived  upon  his  farm  in  quiet  retirement,  far  from  the  artistic 
life  of  capitals,  George  Inness,  Wyatt  Eaton,  Morris  Hunt,  and 
Thomas  Moran,     It   is  the   chief  merit  of  these  men  that   they 


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484  MODERN  PAINTING 

made  the  noble  art  of  the  Fontainebleau  colony  the  basis  of 
artistic  effort  in  America. 

George  Inness  made  himself  for  the  first  time  known  in  Germany 
in  1892  by  three  landscapes.  "  Sunset,"  painted  in  1888,  displayed 
a  few  withered  trees  upon  a  lonely  heath,  and  a  blue-black 
sky,  where  a  deep  red  sun  broke  forth  from  the  rent  clouds. 
The  second  picture,  "Winter  Morning,"  represented  a  season 
which  is  dear  to  English  painters  likewise — the  verge  of  spring 
before  nature  grows  verdant,  and  when  the  trees  and  shrubs 
show  their  earliest  buds,  and  a  suggestion  of  coming  blossom 
peeps  through  the  remnants  of  the  snow  which  still  cover  the 
fields  with  a  dirty  brownish  grey.  The  third  picture,  "  A 
Calm  Day,"  displayed  a  few  trees  on  the  border  of  a  lake  in 
the  dusk :  the  forms  of  nature  here  were  merely  a  medium  by 
which  the  painter  represented  the  play  of  finely  balanced 
tones. 

It  then  became  known  that  George  Inness,  a  master  whom 
his  contemporaries  had  not  known  how  to  value,  and  who  first 
received  his  laurels  from  the  younger  generation,  was  born  as 
early  as  May  ist,  1825,  in  Newburgh  (Orange  County),  near 
the  romantic  banks  of  the  Hudson,  where  simple,  rustic,  and 
idyllic  landscapes  stretch  hard  by  the  virgin-forest  scenery  of 
America.  When  he  began  to  paint,  R.  Gignoux,  who  had  come 
from  France  and  held  the  masters  of  Barbizon  in  great 
veneration,  had  just  entered  into  the  full  possession  of  his 
powers.  At  his  studio  Inness  beheld  the  first  landscapes  of  the 
Fontainebleau  school,  and  became  more  familiarly  acquainted 
with  their  works  through  a  residence  in  Europe  extending 
from  1 87 1  to  1875.  In  these  later  years  he  worked  upon  his 
most  important  creations.  His  life,  like  that  of  Corot,  was  a 
constant  renovation  of  artistic  power.  Like  Corot,  he  began 
with  views  from  Italy.  Simple  pictures  from  the  Roman 
Campagna  alternated  with  straightforward  representations  of  the 
Gulf  of  Naples.  Then,  for  a  time,  he  became  a  Romanticist, 
embellishing  the  wild  woods  of  America  with  angels  and 
pilgrims,  monks  and  crucifixes.  But  in  the  sixties  the  marvels 
of  light   became  his  field   of  study,   and   some  of   the    pictures 


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AMERICA 


485 


Munich:  Hanfaiangl.] 

Hassam  :  "  Seventh  Avenue,  New  York,** 

which  he  painted  at  that  time — for  example,  the  large  work 
"Light  Triumphant" — might  have  been  signed  by  Turner. 
Grey  clouds  shift  across  the  firmament,  and  behind  them  stands 
the  shining  globe  of  the  sun ;  all  the  sky  quivers  like  fluid 
gold ;  shining  yellow  is  the  stream  which  flows  through  the 
meadow ;  and  sunbeams  ripple  through  the  branches  of  the 
trees  and  glance  upon  the  brown  glistening  hide  of  the  cattle 
and  the  white  horses  of  the  cowboys.  Sad  and  sombre,  and 
covered  with  thick  darkness,  was  "The  Valley  of  the  Shadow 
of  Death,"  with  the  distant  cross  upon  which  the  body  of  the 
Saviour  hung  shining.  But  in  these  days  this  same  Romanticist 
has  purged  himself  and  become  quiet  in  manner,  classic,  like 
a  painter  of  the  Fontainebleau  school  whose  name  one  cannot 
recall.  He  loves  the  world  when  it  lies  in  a  solemn  dusk, 
rolling  country  with  leafless  boughs  and  withered  bushes ;  though 
he   also  delights  in  the  red,  glowing  splendours  of  sunset   and 


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486 


MODERN  PAINTING 


Munich :  Han/stdngl.] 


Vonnoh:    "A  Poppy  Field.** 


the  dark  thunderstorm.  At  times  he  is  broad  and  powerful 
like  Rousseau,  at  times  delicate  with  the  Elysian  sentiment  of 
Corot,  here  idyllically  rustic  like  Daubigny,  and  here  full  of 
vehement  lament  like  Dupr6.  All  his  pictures  are  tone- 
symphonies,  broadly  painted,  deeply  harmonized,  and  in  perfect 
concord.  And  the  history  of  art  must  hold  him  in  honour  as- 
one  of  the  most  delicate  and  many-sided  landscapists  of  the 
century. 

Wyatt  Eaton  became  the  American  Millet  Having  been* 
first  a  pupil  of  Leutze  in  Diisseldorf  and  then  for  many  years- 
in  Barbizon,  he  began  to  paint  reapers,  wood-choppers,  and 
peasants  resting  from  their  work — in  fact  all  those  country 
motives  naturalized  in  art  by  the  poetic  genius  of  Jean  Francois. 
Wyatt  Eaton's  talent,  however,  has  not  the  robust  largencss- 
or  the  complete  rusticity  of  the  master  of  Gruchy  ;  nevertheless 
it  holds  itself  aloof  from  the  manufactured  elegance  by  which 
Jules  Breton  obtained  admission  into  the  drawing-room  for 
Millet's  peasants.  His  representation  of  country  life  is  sincere 
and  honest,  though  his  painting,  like  Millet's,  has  a  certain 
laboured  heaviness.  Men,  and  trees,  and  haystacks  are  touched 
by  the  same  oily  light. 

A  younger  artist,  Dwight  William  Tryon,  who  has  been  since 


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AMERICA 


487 


1885  the  Director 
of  the  Hartford 
school  of  art,  had 
his  eye  disciplined 
under  Daubigny. 
There  may  be  seen 
in  his  pictures,  as 
in  Daubigny's,  a 
silvery  grey  atmo- 
sphere, against 
which  the  tracery 
of  young  foliage 
stands  out  in  re- 
lief, green  shining 
meadows  and  softly 
rippling  streams, 
corn-fields,  apple- 
trees,  and  fruit- 
gardens.  In  his 
delicate  little  pic- 
ture "  The  Rising  Moon,"  exhibited  in  the  Munich  Exhibition 
of  1892,  the  parting  flush  of  evening  plays  over  a  bluish-green 
haystack  with  a  dusky  yellow  light.  His  second  picture,  "  Day- 
break," displayed  a  lake  and  a  sleeping  town,  over  which  the 
grey  dawn  cast  its  hesitating  beams.  In  his  third  picture^ 
"  December,"  he  rendered  a  strip  of  sedge  and  a  grey  fallow- 
ground  over  which  there  rested,  sad  and  chill,  a  grey  heavy 
stratum  of  atmosphere,  pierced  by  yellowish  streaks  of  light. 

/.  Appleton  Brown,  whose  works  made  a  stir  in  the  Salon  as 
early  as  the  seventies,  is  compared  with  Duprd  by  American 
critics.  His  favourite  key  of  colour  is  that  of  dun-coloured 
sunset,  and  against  it  a  gnarled  oak  or  the  yellow  sail  of  a  small 
craft  stretches  like  a  dark  phantom.  That  admirable  painter  of 
animals,  Peter  Moran,  turned  early  from  Landseer  to  Rosa 
Bonheur  and  Troyon.  One  of  his  brothers,  Thomas  Moran, 
gave  himself  up  to  the  study  of  landscape,  and  the  other,. 
Edward,  to  that  of  the  sea  and  life  upon  the  strand.      They  are 


Cox :   "  Evening.' 


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488 


MODERN  PAINTING 


Munich  :  liftn^iian^Ly 


Dewing  :   "  At  the  Piano." 


in  every  sense  American  artists,  men  who  borrow  their  subjects 
from  American  scenery  only,  depicting  it  under  a  peculiarly 
brilliant  light  In  Thomas  Moran's  pictures  from  the  virgin 
forests  of  the  South  all  objects  are  enveloped  in  the  golden 
haze  of  Turner.  Waterfalls  and  glowing  red,  blue,  and  violet 
masses  of  cliff  are  bathed  in  sunny  mist,  in  orange,  tender  blue, 
or  light  green  atmosphere.  Edward  Moran  painted  fishermen 
and  fisher-women  at  their  toil  or  returning  home :  water  and 
strand,  people  and  vessels,  vanish  into  a  blue  haze  which  de- 
composes all  outlines.  L.  C,  Tiffany  established  himself  in  the 
port  of  New  York,  and  painted  charming  things  which  yield  in 
nothing  to  those  of  Vollon :  in  the  foreground  are  ships  and 
men  at  work,  and  in  the  background  the  piquant  outline  of 
New  York  rising  out  of  the  mist,  and  reflected  in  the  clear 
water  of  the  ocean,  gilded  by  the  dawn.  The  works  of  John 
Francis  Murphy  are  full  of  intimate  feeling,  and  although  his 
dark  regions  of  wood,  sedge-grown  pools,  and  peasant  cabins 
were   painted    on   the    Hudson,    they    have   been   seen,    in   their 


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AMERICA 


489 


Amtrican  Art  JReviiw.] 

WiLUAM  Merrit  Chase. 


delicately  toned  poetry  of  nature, 
entirely  with  the  eyes  of  a 
Fon  tainebleau   painter. 

The  younger  men  passed 
from  beauty  recalling  the  old 
masters,  and  the  clarity  bathed 
in  radiance  which  Turner  loved, 
to  the  study  of  more  complicated 
effects  of  light.  Fire,  lamplight, 
and  sunlight  strive  for  the 
mastery  upon  their  canvases. 
Childe  HassaiHy  who  returned 
some  years  ago  from  Paris  to 
America,  has  rendered  the  street- 
life  of  New  York  in  fresh  and 
fleeting  sketches :  snow,  smoke, 
and  flaring  gaslight  pouring 
through  the  shop  -  windows, 
quivering  out  into  the  night,  and 

reflected  in  an  intense  blaze  upon  the  faces  of  men  and  women. 
Julian  Alden  Weir,  son  of  Robert  Walter  Weir,  the  American 
Piloty,  worked  in  Paris  under  G^rdme,  though  he  would  seem 
to  have  made  a  far  more  frequent  study  of  Cazin.  His  simple 
little  pictures — field-paths  leading  between  meadows,  narrow 
rivulets  rippling  by  the  side  of  dusty  roads— have  that  softly 
meditative  and  tenderly  dreamy  trait  which  is  the  note  of 
Cazin's  landscapes.  Another  of  these  painters,  N.  W.  Ranger^ 
loves  the  quiet  hour  when  the  lighted  gaslamps  contend 
against  the  fading  day,  and  the  electric  light  pierces  the  sea  of 
smoke  and  mist  hanging  over  the  streets  with  its  keen  rays. 
As  befits  his  Dutch  origin,  Alexander  van  Laer  has  in  his  sea- 
pieces  more  of  a  leaning  towards  Mesdag*s  grey  tones.  Bisbing 
paints  large  landscapes,  saturated  by  light  and  air,  with  cows 
somnolently  resting  in  the  sun  ;  while  Davis  has  the  secret  of 
interpreting  the  greyish-blue  eff*ects  of  morning  with  great 
delicacy.  And  the  younger  Inness  has  a  fondness  for  departing 
thunder-showers,  rainbows,  and   misty  red  sunbeams  penetrating 

VOL.  III.  32 


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490 


MODERN  PAINTING 


Munich :  HanfstdnglJ] 


Chase  :   "  In  the  Park." 


in  the  form  of  wedges  through  a  sea  of  mist,  and  restmg  upon 
wide  stony  fields. 

Unhackneyed,  desperately  unhackneyed,  unhackneyed  to  ex- 
aggeration are  the  figure-painters  also.  That  enlivening  artist 
/.  G.  Brown^  indefatigable  in  portraying  the  street-arabs  of 
New  York  ;  /.  M.  C,  Hamilton,  who  based  himself  upon  Alfred 
Stevens;  the  miniature-painter  Ignaz  Marcel  Gaugengigl\  and 
even  /.  Ridgway  Knight  of  Philadelphia,  a  Bastien-Lepage 
transposed  into  the  key  of  feminine  prettiness ;  these,  with  their 
smooth,  neat,  conscientious  painting,  no  longer  fit  into  the 
general  plan  of  American  art.  The  younger  men*  do  not  waste 
their  time  over  such  work  of  detail  done  with  a  fine  brush,  in 
addition  to  which  the  ordinary  grey  painting  is  too  simple  for 
them.  Some  of  them,  like  Eliuh  Vedder  and  Frederick  S. 
Churchy  move  in  a  grotesquely  fantastic  world  of  ideas.  Others 
attempt  the  most  hazardous  schemes  of  colour,  and  often  excite 
the  impression  that  their  pictures  have  not  been  painted  with 
the  brush  at  all.  In  this  respect  that  bold  colourist  Robert 
William     Vonnoh    reached    the    extreme    limit    at    the    Munich 


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AMERICA  491 

Exhibition  of  1892;  His  gleaming  and  flaming  picture  of  a 
field  of  poppies,  where  a  girl  was  playing,  while  the  glowing 
July  sun  glanced  over  it,  is  less  like  an  oil-picture  than  a  relief 
in  oils.  The  unmixed  red  had  been  directly  pressed  on  to  the 
canvas  from  the  tube  in  broad  masses,  and  stood  flickering 
against  the  blue  air ;  and  the  bluish-green  leaves  were  placed 
beside  them  by  the  same  direct  method,  white  lights  being 
attained  by  judiciously  managed  fragments  of  blank  canvas. 
Never  yet  was  war  so  boldly  declared  against  all  the  con- 
ventional usages  of  the  studio ;  never  yet  were  such  barbaric 
means  employed  to  attain  an  astounding  effect  of  light.  Even 
with  portrait-painting  the  most  subtile  studies  of  light  were 
combined  :  the  persons  sit  before  the  hearth  or  beneath  a 
lamp,  irradiated  with  the  light  of  the  fire ;  hands,  face,  and 
clothes  are  covered  with  reflections  of  the  flame.  And  Charles 
Edmund  Tarbelly  who,  like  Besnard,  regards  the  human  brain 
merely  as  a  medium  for  perceiving  effects  of  light,  is  in  the 
habit  of  briefly  naming  his  broadly  executed  pictures  of  girls 
"An  Opal"  or  "An  Amethyst"  to  suit  the  tone  of  the  pre- 
vailing illumination. 

But  as  the  Americans  were  the  first  to  follow  Manet's 
painting  of  light,  so  were  they  also  the  first  to  adopt  that 
lyricism  of  colour  originated  by  Watts  and  Whistler,  and  now 
extending  over  European  painting  in  wider  and  wider  circles. 
Kenyan  Cox,  a  pupil  of  Gerdme  and  Carolus  Duran,  who  in 
earlier  days  painted  large  mythological  pictures  in  the  manner 
of  French  Classicism,  had  in  the  Munich  Exhibition  of  1892  a 
marvellous  nude  figure  of  a  woman  in  front  of  a  deep  Titian- 
esque  group  of  trees — a  work  which  might  have  been  painted  by 
a  modern  Scotchman,  so  full  in  tone  were  the  chords  of  colour 
which  he  struck  on  it. 

A  pupil  of  Boulanger  and  Lefebure,  W.  Thomas  Dewingy 
like  Whistler,  paints  pale,  slender  women  resting  in  the  twilight, 
and  one  of  his  pictures— a  young  lady  in  black  silk  sitting  at 
the  piano  before  a  silvery  grey  wall — had  in  its  refined  grey 
and  black  tones  something  of  the  brilliant,  knightly  verve  which 
is  elsewhere  only  to  be  found  in  Orchardson.    Julius  Rolshoven 


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492  MODERN  PAINTING 

who  now  lives  in  Cincinnati,  after  having  long  painted  in  Italy, 
exhibited  pictures  from  Venice — girls  kneeling  before  the  image 
of  the  Virgin  at  the  sound  of  the  Ave  Maria,  views  of  the 
Doge's  palace  or  of  Chioggia — and  in  these  pictures  too  there 
was  nothing  of  the  sunny  play  of  light  which  modem  Italians 
shed  over  such  scenes ;  on  the  contrary  powerful  greenish-blue 
tones  were  spread  out,  with  an  effect  of  dark  and  solemn 
gravity. 

William  Merrit  Chase  has  studied  the  symphonic  harmonies 
of  the  great  magician  Whistler  with  the  finest  understanding  for 
them.  In  the  seventies  Chase  counted  as  one  of  the  most 
original  amongst  the  younger  pupils  of  Piloty,  and  works  of 
his  belonging  to  that  period,  such  as  "The  Court  Fool"  and 
the  picture  of  the  street-arabs  smoking,  were  good  genre 
pieces  in  the  German  style.  But  in  1883  he  surprised  every 
one  by  his  vivid  portrait  of  the  painter  Frank  Duvenek,  who 
was  seated,  with  American  nonchalance,  facing  the  back  of  a 
chair,  smoking  a  cigar,  as  also  by  his  portrait  of  F.  S.  Church, 
and  by  some  fine  landscapes — Venetian  canal  pictures  and 
desolate  American  cliffs.  From  being  a  pupil  of  Piloty  he  had 
become  a  bold  painter  in  bright  tones,  revelling  in  the  whitest 
sunlight  In  the  decade  which  has  passed  since  that  time 
Velasquez,  whom  he  copied  in  Spain,  and  Whistler,  under 
whose  influence  he  was  in  London,  led  him  forwards  from  mere 
bright  painting  to  that  beauty  of  tone  which  is  now  sought 
in  all  quarters  of  Europe  by  the  most  advanced  men  of  the  age. 
The  present  Director  of  the  Art  Students*  League  paints,  when 
he  is  in  the  mood,  in  a  very  fine  and  delicate  grey,  as  in  the 
park-scene  entitled  "Two  Friends."  He  is  bright  and  full  of 
bloom  when  he  paints  graceful  children,  slender  girls  with 
brown  curling  hair,  walking  in  green  sunny  fields  and  clothed 
in  dazzling  white,  playing  at  the  edge  of  a  pond  or  jumping 
about  over  gaily  coloured  skipping-ropes.  He  revek  as  a  land- 
scapist  in  deep  chords  of  colour  recalling  Scotch  painters, 
and  makes  a  sombre  and  powerful  effect  in  his  portrait  of 
Whistler. 

So  America  has  an  art  of  her  own.     Yet  even  those  Americans 


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AMERICA  493 

who  work  in  their  native  land  betray  an  accent  less  national 
than  the  Danes,  for  example,  or  the  Dutch  ;  and  national  accent 
they  cannot  have  because  the  entire  civilization  of  America,  far 
more  than  that  of  other  countries,  is  exposed  to  international 
influences.  They  possess  no  captivating  intimacy  of  emotion, 
they  know  nothing  of  confidential  revelations,  but  clearness  of 
eye  they  have,  and  deftness  of  hand,  and  refined  taste,  and 
they  understand  admirably  the  secret  of  creating  an  illusion  by 
technique.  Let  Europe  or  America  be  their  home,  they  are 
children  of  the  New  World,  the  most  modern  amongst  the 
moderns. 


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CHAPTER   XLV 

GERMANY 

Retrospect  of  the  development  of  German  fainting  since  Menzel  and 
LeibL—The  landscapists  had  been  the  first  to  make  the  influence 
of  Fontainebleau  operative:  Adolf  Lier,  Adolf  Staebli,  Otto  Frdh- 
licher,  Josef  Wenglein^  Louis  Neubert,  Carl  Heffner,—The  Munich 
Exhibition  of  1879  brings  about  an  acquaintance  with  Manet  and 
Bastien-Lepage :  Max  Liebermann. — The  other  representatives  of 
the  new  art  in  Berlin :  Franz  Skarbina,  Friedrich  Stahl^  Hans 
Herrmann,  Hugo  Vogel,  Walter  Leistikow,  Rein  hold  Lepsius,  Curt 
Herrmann,  Lesser  Ury,  Ludwig  Dettmann, —  Vienna,^ Dussel- 
dorf:  Arthur  Kampf  Kdmpffer,  Olaf  Jernberg,— Stuttgart : 
Otto  Reiniger,  Robert  Haug.— Hamburg :  Thomas  Herbst, — 
Carlsruhe:  Gustav  Schdnleber,  Herrmann  Baisch,  Friedrich  Kail- 
morgen,  Robert  Poetzelberger,— Weimar :  Theodor  Hagen,  Baron 
Gleichen-Russwurm,  L,  Berkemeier,  R,  Thierbach,  P,  Baum, — 
Munich:  Bruno  Piglhein,  Albert  Keller,  Baron  von  Haber- 
mann.  Count  Leopold  Kalckreuth,  Gotthard  Kuehl,  Paul  Hbcker, 
H  ZUgel,  Victor  Weishaupt,  L.  Dill,  L.  Herterich,  Waclaw 
Scymanowski,  Hans  Olde,  A,  Langhammer,  Leo  Samberger^  W,  Firle, 
H  von  Bartels,  W.  Keller-Reutlingen,  and  others.^The  illustrators : 
Reni  Reinicke,  H.  Schlittgen,  Hengeler,  Wahle, 

C'^ERMANY  was  longest  in  putting  off  the  old  Adam  and 
^  joining  in  the  great  tendency  which  was  flooding  Europe ; 
and  yet  the  old  Adam  had  been  neither  thoroughly  French  nor 
thoroughly  German.  As  late  as  1878  the  Gazette  des  Beaux 
Arts — the  journal  best  qualified  to  form  an  estimate  upon  works 
of  art— in  its  article  upon  the  World  Exhibition,  was  able  to 
summarize  its  judgment  of  the  German  galleries  in  these  words : 
"  There  are  one  or  two  artists  of  the  first  rank  and  many  men 
of  talent,  but  in  other  respects  German  painting  is  still  upon 
the  level  of  the  schools  which  had  their  day  amongst  us  thirty 


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GERMANY  495 

years  ago;  this  is  the  solitary  school  of  painting  which  does 
not  seem  to  perceive  that  the  age  of  railways  and  World 
Exhibitions  needs  an  art  different  from  that  of  the  age  of 
philosophy  and  provincial  isolation."  The  pigtail,  which  in 
earlier  days  had  been  the  mode  in  other  countries,  had  been 
worn  so  long  that  it  was  now  piously  represented  to  be  "the 
German  national  style."  It  had  vanished  out  of  all  recollection 
that  historical  painting  had  been  imported  in  1842  from  Belgium, 
whither  it  was  brought  from  Paris  in  1830.  In  the  course  of 
years  it  had  become  so  dear  to  the  Germans  that  they  clung  to 
it  as  to  a  national  banner,  and  founded  Art  Unions  to  foster  in 
Germany  a  thing  which  had  been  buried  everywhere  else.  It 
was  forgotten  that  the  anecdotic  genre  had  been  borrowed  from 
England  in  the  beginning  of  the  century,  and  had  been  in 
England,  as  in  France,  a  mere  cloak  for  artistic  weaknesses,  or 
a  sop  for  a  public  not  yet  trained  to  appreciate  art.  But  when 
this  phase  of  the  anecdote  told  in  colours  had  been  overcome 
elsewhere,  it  was  a  pleasant  delusion  to  be  able  to  praise  humour 
and  geniality  as  the  peculiar  portion  of  the  Germans. 

The  Munich  painters  of  costume,  belonging  to  the  close  of 
the  seventies,  had  taken  an  important  step  for  Germany  in 
setting  painting,  pure  and  simple,  in  the  place  occupied  by 
painted  history  and  painted  anecdote  ;  and  their  pictures  met 
with  the  best  reception  in  Paris.  But  the  critic  of  the  Gazette 
pointed  out  with  perfect  justice  that  they  merely  represented  a 
stage  of  transition  towards  modernity.  An  ardent  study  of  the 
old  masters  had  assisted  artists  in  learning  once  more  how  to 
paint,  at  a  time  when  narrative  subject  was  held  of  chief  account 
and  not  painting  at  all.  But  the  mischief  was  that  everything 
was  hopelessly  well-painted  in  a  way  which  did  not  further  the 
historical  development  of  art  by  one  single  step.  Artists  under- 
stood how  to  adapt  the  garment  of  the  old  painters  in  a 
masterly  fashion,  to  let  it  fall  in  graceful  folds,  to  trim  it  with 
joyous  colours,  but  it  was,  none  the  less,  an  old  garment,  which, 
in  spite  of  artificial  renovation,  was  not  rendered  more  beautiful 
than  it  had  been  when  it  was  new. 

The  representation  of  genuine   modern  humanity  began  with 


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496  MODERN  PAINTING 

Menzel.  During  those  years  he  held  sway  over  an  isolated 
domain  of  his  own.  Positive  in  spirit  and  keen  of  eye,  he  found 
material  that  he  could  turn  to  account  wherever  he  was— in 
drawing-rooms,  upon  public  promenades,  in  menageries  and 
manufactories.  He  had  no  stories  to  tell,  and  introduced  nothing 
humorous  into  his  work,  but  simply  kept  his  eyes  open.  And 
yet  even  in  his  method  there  was  a  certain  narrative  element, 
something  with  a  savour  of  genrCy  an  inclination  to  be  discursive. 
He  observed  the  physiognomies  and  attitudes  of  his  fellow- 
creatures  with  the  eyes  of  Hogarth;  and  the  ceremonial  laws  of 
courtly  splendour,  when  he  renders  account  of  them,  make  an 
effect  which  is  more  plebeian  than  aristocratic ;  the  gaiety 
of  watering-places,  when  seen  by  him,  has  an  almost  mournful 
comicality.  He  was  a  cold  analyst,  accentuating  and  defining 
acutely  what  he  had  first  worked  out  with  keenness  in  his 
own  mind,  but  he  was  deficient  in  tenderness,  quickness  of 
feeling,  -and  affection.  There  is  something  satirical  in  his  way 
of  underlining,  something  heartless  in  his  calculated  irony,  which 
hardly  lowers  the  rapier  to  spare  helpless  children  and  defence- 
less women.  Few  have  seen  more  keenly  into  the  spirit  of  their 
fellows ;  but  he  always  stands  unapproachably  above  them,  and 
deals  with  them  merely  to  turn  spirited  epigrams  at  their 
expense. 

With  Leibl  German  painting  made  an  advance  upon  Menzel's 
piquant  feuilleton  style,  and  one  which  was  in  the  direction  of 
simplicity.  Its  method  of  interpretation  was  no  longer  that 
of  scoring  points :  Leibl  observes  and  paints.  Moreover  he 
paints  exceedingly  well,  paints  human  bodies  and  articles  of 
clothing  so  accurately  as  to  create  an  illusion,  paints  all  things 
tangible  with  such  a  fidelity  to  nature  that  one  is  prompted  to 
lay  one's  hand  upon  them.  The  entire  population  of  Aibling — 
peasants,  sportsmen,  and  women — are  the  uncanny  doubles  of 
nature  in  Leibl's  pictures,  and  are  overwhelming  in  their  resem- 
blance to  life.  All  his  technical  resources  have  a  masterly 
sureness  in  their  effect.  One  cannot  but  admire  such  handiwork, 
and  nevertheless  one  understands  why  it  was  that  later  painters 
aimed  at  something  different. 


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GERMANY  497 

And  landscape  had  reached  the  ideal  which  had  floated 
before  the  younger  generation,  ever  since  the  masters  of  Bar- 
bizon  became  more  accurately  known  in  Germany,  just  as  little 
as  figure-painting.  A  great  advance  was  made  when  Adolf 
Lier,  going  back  to  Schleich,  set  up  the  Munich  painting 
expressing  the  mood  of  nature  in  place  of  the  painted 
Baedeker  dear  to  the  older  generation.  Lier  had  been  in 
Barbizon.  The  forceful  figure  of  Jules  Dupr6  had  been  near 
him,  and  his  first  pictures  were  a  revelation  for  Germany. 
And  when  art  which  was  purely  objective  and  geographical 
gave  way  before  the  impulse  to  represent  native  scenery 
in  the  intimate  charm  of  its  moods  of  light  and  air,  there 
came  of  necessity  an  increasing  and  proportionate  power  of 
artistic  absorption.  Simple  scenes  from  the  neighbourhood 
of  Munich,  Schleissheim,  and  Dachau  in  moonshine,  rain,  or 
evening  light,  in  spring  or  in  autumn,  were  Lier's  favourite 
motives.  The  rays  of  the  setting  sun  in  his  landscapes 
are  reflected  in  brown  morasses  surrounded  by  trees,  or  the 
evening  clearness  gleams  over  snow  and  ice,  or  the  light  of 
the  noonday  sun  battles  with  the  dust  rising  from  a  road, 
where  a  flock  of  sheep  are  passing  leisurely  forwards.  Adolf 
Staebliy  who  was  a  Swiss,  worked  on  the  shores  of  the  Starn- 
bergersee  and  the  Ammersee,  attracted  by  their  mighty  clumps 
of  trees,  majestically  grave  in  outline.  His  compatriot  the 
late  Otto  Frohlicher,  who  was  most  decisively  impressed  by 
Theodore  Rousseau,  painted  in  the  neighbourhood  of  Dachau 
and  Peissenberg  wide  plains  in  gloomy  moods  of  rain,  and 
gnarled  oaks  rising  like  phantoms  against  the  sky;  and.  false 
and  mediocre  as  he  is  in  his  studio  pictures,  he  has  left  strong 
and  virile  studies  breathing  of  the  fresh  and  delicious  fragrance 
of  the  forest,  fosef  Wenglein  rendered  the  broad,  flat,  sandy 
bed  of  the  Isar  near  Toelz,  the  sun  struggling  against  the 
vapours  rising  from  moor  and  meadow,  the  wooded  spines  of 
the  hills  fringing  the  river's  bed,  and  the  delicate  outlines  of 
the  Upper  Bavarian  ranges,  emerging  out  of  the  distance  in 
shining  silvery  vapour.  Poor  Louis  Neuberty  who  was  buried 
alive,   delighted  in  the  lyricism  of  desolate  places :   silent  coasts 


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498  MODERN  PAINTING 

where  the  weary  waves  subside,  black  autumn  nights  when 
the  dark  pastures  slumber  and  the  murmuring  waters  sing  them 
a  lullaby.  Carl  Heffner  found  congenial  motives  in  the  soft 
park-like  scenery  of  England:  quiet  country-houses  pleasantly 
hidden  amongst  trees,  and  lonely  pools  where  lazily  shifting 
clouds  are  mirrored. 

But  neither  Lier  himself  in  his  later  years  nor  any  of  his 
followers  had  the  reverence  for  nature  necessary  for  drawing 
full  advantage  from  the  doctrines  of  the  Fontainebleau  school. 
It  was  only  in  the  beginning,  at  the  first  acquaintanceship  with 
paysage  intime,  that  the  German  painters  found  refreshment 
from  this  new  source.  In  later  times  its  waters  were  adulterated 
with  unseasonable  spices.  In  the  days  when  the  gallery  tone, 
reminiscent  of  old  masters,  dominated  figure-painting,  landscape 
was  likewise  subjected  to  this  influence.  The  warm  golden  light 
of  Lier  became  a  formula  with  the  Munich  school.  *'  Beautiful " 
views  were  followed  by  a  necessity  for  "  beauty  "  of  tone.  Nature 
was  still  regarded  with  preconceived  notions,  and  its  simple 
poetry,  which  inspired  the  French,  was  gradually  transformed 
into  something  the  very  opposite. 

Things  were  in  this  condition  when  the  Parisian  Impres- 
sionists raised  the  cry  after  light  and  sun,  and  more  accurate 
knowledge  of  their  innovations  was  acquired  through  the  French 
making  such  an  imposing  display  as  they  did  at  the  Munich 
Exhibition  of  1879.  Courbet  had  risen  above  the  horizon  in 
Germany  in  1869,  and  now  the  French  exhibitors  of  1879  pointed 
out  the  way  which  led  from  Courbet  to  Millet,  Manet,  and 
Bast  ien  -Lepage. 

Soon  after  a  certain  change  might  have  been  noticed  in 
German  exhibitions.  Amid  the  great  historical  pictures,  and 
costume-pieces  modelled  on  the  old  masters,  and  antiquated 
genre  scenes,  there  hung,  scattered  here  and  there,  exceedingly 
unassuming  pictures,  which  rendered  neither  pompous  dramatic 
scenes  nor  amusing  pranks,  but  simple  and  unpretentious  sub- 
jects which  had  been  directly  observed.  They  represented 
toiling  humanity:  shepherds,  peasants,  cobblers,  women  mending 
nets,  men  stitching  sails   or  binding  wire.     Or  they  represented 


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GERMANY  499 

people  at  their  recreation  in  the  beer-garden  or  in  the  enforced 
inactivity  of  old  age.  And  the  persons  thus  painted  carried 
on  no  by-play  with  the  public,  as  in  earlier  genre  pictures ;  on 
the  contrary  they  were  absorbed  in  their  occupation,  and  every- 
thing suggestive  of  a  relation  between  the  model  and  the 
artist,  the  figure  and  the  spectator,  was  scrupulously  eradicated 
Moreover  the  inanimate,  petrified  element  which  vitiated  the 
productions  of  the  realists  was  also  avoided.  The  wind  was 
felt  to  be  blowing  strong  around  the  figures  ;  and  the  beholder 
not  only  saw  peasants  and  blouses,  but  fancied  that  he  could 
breathe  the  very  odour  of  the  forest  and  the  earth. 

Just  as  at  this  time  it  was  the  aim  of  modern  drama  to 
represent  its  personages,  by  all  the  resources  in  its  power,  as 
under  the  sway  of  their  physical  and  moral  surroundings,  their 
real  and  habitual  atmosphere,  so  atmospheric  effect — air  and 
light— had  now  become  the  chief  field  of  study  in  painting. 
Here  and  there  in  the  galleries  of  exhibitions .  there  emerged 
little  landscapes,  the  most  unpretentious  that  could  have  been 
painted  :  monotonous  plains,  poor  flat  lands,  vegetable  gardens 
and  weedy  fields,  and  straight  tulip-beds  cut  in  broad  stripes ; 
and  with  great  frequency  the  peculiarly  iridescent  bluish-red 
tones  of  certain  species  of  cabbage-heads  were  to  be  remarked. 
As  the  figure-painters  scorned  to  arouse  an  interest  for  art  in 
those  who  had  no  real  feeling  for  it  by  making  points  and 
painting  anecdote,  the  landscape-painters  disdained  to  stimulate 
a  topographical  interest  by  representing  the  scenery  beloved  of 
tourists,  and  were  above  creating  the  sentiment  of  landscape  for 
their  pictures  by  false  sentiment  They  devoted  themselves  to 
nature  with  complete  reverence,  turning  their  eyes  only  to  the 
charm  of  atmosphere — the  spiritual  charm — which  rests  over  quiet 
and  unmolested  nooks.  German  painting  had  grown  more  ideal 
and  more  elevated  in  taste  since  artists  had  given  up  working 
frankly  for  the  picture-buyer ;  although  it  busied  itself  only  with 
toiling  and  heavily  laden  humanity,  and  with  potato-fields  or 
cabbage-fields,  it  had  become  more  exclusive  and  refined,  for 
now  it  touched  only  tones  that  were  discreet  and  low,  and  had 
no  regard  for  those  who  did  not  care  to  listen  to  them. 


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500  MODERN  PAINTING 

As  a  matter  of  fact,  however,  the  battle  that  had  to  be 
fought  in  Germany  was  almost  severer  than  in  France.  Since 
Oswald  Achenbach  and  Eduard  Griitzner  the  public  had  seen 
so  many  views  of  Vesuvius  and  the  Bay  of  Naples,  and  so 
many  humorous  genre  episodes,  that  it  was  almost  impossible 
to  imagine  simple  regions  and  serious  men  after  these  showy 
landscapes  and  laughing  faces.  In  addition  to  this  an  uncom- 
promising study  of  nature  offended  ^y^  which  could  only 
tolerate  her  when  trimmed  and  set  in  order.  The  fresh  rendering 
of  personal  impressions  seemed  brutal  after  that  more  glittering 
painting  which  made  a  dexterous  use  of  the  articulation  of  form 
and  colour  found  in  the  old  masters,  adapting  them  for  the 
expression  of  its  own  aims.  The  effort  to  express  the  values 
of  tone  with  a  renunciation  of  all  narrative  intention  was  looked 
upon  as  want  of  spirit,  because  the  interest  in  subject,  even  the 
very  rudest  that  has  any  relation  to  art,  obstructed  the  growth 
of  the  sense  for  absolute  painting. 

But  the  science  of  aesthetics — which  had  hitherto  been  almost 
always  obliged  to  take  up  a  deprecatory  attitude  towards  modem 
art— had  now  occasion  to  follow  the  nature  and  history  of  the 
opposition  party  with  interest,  and  from  the  very  first  day. 
For  it  had  to  establish  that  their  programme  attacked  the 
validity  of  those  elements  in  the  ascendant  art  by  which  it  was 
fundamentally  distinguished  from  genuine  old  painting.  The 
new  art  aroused  confidence  because  it  no  longer  formed  for 
itself  a  style  out  of  oUier  styles,  but,  like  every  genuine  form  of 
art,  aimed  at  being  the  chronicle  and  mirror  of  its  own  age. 
It  aroused  confidence  because,  after  a  prolonged  period  of 
mongrel  narrative  art,  it  set  forth  a  true  style  of  painting,  which 
stood  in  need  of  no  interesting  title  in  a  catalogue,  but  carried 
in  itself  the  justification  of  its  own  existence.  And  although 
the  roots  of  the  new  tree  were  embedded  in  France,  it  almost 
seemed  as  if  German  painting,  after  so  long  deviating  into 
romantic  lines,  were  about  to  begin  once  more,  with  modem 
refinement  of  colour,  at  the  point  where  Diirer  and  the  "little 
masters"  had  broken  off.  To  those  reviewing  the  past  it  was 
as  though  a  bridge  had  been  cast  from  the  present  to  that  old 


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GERMANY 


501 


Graphischt  Kiinstt,}  [  Uhdt  pxt. 

Max  Liebermann. 


art  of  the  Germans,  Dutch,  and 
English  which  in  the  sixteenth, 
seventeenth,  and  eighteenth  cen- 
turies pressed  ever  onwards, 
opposing  Romantic  Eclecticism. 
The  finest  spirits  occupied  with 
the  science  of  aesthetics  began 
to  champion  the  new  ideas,  after 
having  sceptically  held  aloof 
from  all  modern  art.  And  they 
were  joined  by  a  large  number 
of  the  younger  men.  In  1888, 
twenty  years  after  Manet  had 
arranged  that  private  exhibition 
at  Durand-Ruel's  which  was  so 
momentous  in  its  results,  the 
*' New  Art"— against  which  the 

doors  of  the  Art  Union  had  been  closed  even  in  Munich — was 
triumphantly  established  in  the  Crystal  Palace,  and  at  that  time 
I  began  my  articles  on  the  great  International  Exhibition  with 
the  heading  ^^ Max  Liebermann'' 

He  was  the  bearer  of  the  Promethean  fire  that  was  kindled 
in  Barbizon,  and  the  initiator  of  the  movement  in  Germany 
corresponding  with  that  which  had  taken  place  in  Fontainebleau. 
Whilst  others  who  had  been  before  him  in  Barbizon  received 
no  enduring  impressions,  Liebermann  was  the  first  to  bring  the 
unvarnished  programme  of  the  new  style  to  his  native  land,  and 
thus  became  one  of  those  pioneers  whose  place  is  assured  in  the 
history  of  art.  When  he  appeared  he  fared  as  badly  as  the 
French  painters  who  had  quickened  his  talent :  he  was  decried 
as  an  apostle  of  hideousness.  But  now  it  is  a  different  matter, 
arid  his  works  show  that  he  has  not  altered  himself,  but  has 
made  a  change  in  us.  He  went  a  step  further  than  Menzel  in 
adopting  a  style  of  simplicity,  and  endeavouring  to  lose  himself 
in  nature  where  Menzel  had  been  content  to  hover  over  the 
surface  of  things  in  his  brilliant  way.  And  he  went  a  step 
further  than  Leibl  in  no  longer  regarding  it  as  the  highest  aim 


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502 


MODERN  PAINTING 


Craphische  KiiHsie.] 

LlEBERMANN  : 


[Halm  sc. 
"The  Cobbler's  Shop." 


of  art  to  paint  pic- 
tures which  should 
be  a  wide  and 
broad